Amber Alert mom pleads not guilty to kidnapping son

KENT, Wash. - The woman who triggered the May 5 Amber Alert in Washington state pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of kidnapping, burglary and custodial interference.

At her appearance in King County Superior Court in Kent, 34-year-old Sandra Bennatts was ordered to remain in jail with bail set at $1 million as her case continues.

Prosecutors say Bennatts, who lost custody of her 6-year-old son, took the boy from his grandmother's home in Auburn after attacking the woman - her own mother - at knifepoint.

She then assaulted the grandmother, took her to a storage room inside the home, "hog-tied" and blindfolded her, and then blocked the doors to the room using rope, wire and tape, according to the statement of probable cause.

Bennatts then took the boy along with the grandmother's car and phone and drove off, police said. The little boy's grandmother was finally able to untie herself around 6 a.m. Monday and went to a neighbor's home to call 911.

Police were able to eventually track Bennatts by pinging the grandmother's cell phone and a Snohomish County deputy tried to pull Bennatts over along Highway 2. But police say Bennatts then sped off east on the narrow highway, reaching speeds of nearly 100 mph.

She eventually drove east in the westbound lanes, then ran out of gas near Stevens Pass, police said. It was there Chelan County deputies caught up with the mother and took her into custody. The boy was found safe inside her car and has since been returned to his grandmother.