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Man who allegedly strangled woman on Phoenix city bus was released from custody 3 days earlier

A man is accused of strangling a woman to death on a Phoenix city bus in broad daylight and miscommunication between law enforcement may have led to an early
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 10:11 AM MST|Updated: May. 11, 2022 at 2:49 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Court paperwork reveals more about the man accused of strangling a woman on a Phoenix city bus last week. Joshua Bagley, 26, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and now faces a first-degree murder charge.

Last Friday, a Valley Metro bus driver found a woman, later identified as 41-year-old Diane Crag, in the back of the bus not breathing near 27th Avenue and Baseline Road. She had straps of a bag twisted around her neck, police said. She was taken to a hospital but died later that night from “internal decapitation,” court paperwork said. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral arrangements.

Investigators say that Bagley and Craig got onto the bus together and sat near each other in the back. It’s unclear if Bagley and Craig knew each other. They were the only passengers on board. The driver said he heard a noise from the back of the bus at one point but didn’t think anything of it. Video surveillance footage on the bus showed Bagley strangling Craig with bag straps that he twisted repeatedly, investigators said, and pushing Craig to the floor.

Police said after strangling Craig, Bagley is seen on video stealing from her. The bus driver noticed Bagley had moved to the front of the bus near a stop at 19th and Southern avenues. When the driver stopped the bus at a QuikTrip station for a bathroom break, he said he locked the bus doors. When he returned, he told police he saw Bagley standing outside the gas station before walking away.

Police spent days looking for him. Eventually, Bagley was found at 27th Avenue and Indian School Road on Tuesday after a 911 call about a suspicious person.

Bagley was known to law enforcement. He had been arrested twice within the last two months. The first time was on April 1 when Mesa Police arrested him on a warrant out of Mohave County. According to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Mohave County declined to extradite him and therefore they released him from jail. Mohave County denies this claim.

Bagley’s second arrest came exactly one month later when Goodyear Police arrested him on charges of DUI and possession of a stolen car. He was released two days later on May 3 at 11:39 a.m. Seven hours later, Mohave County reissued the warrant for his arrest. Investigators said he strangled Craig three days later.