KEY POINTS

  • Utah Highway Patrol found the vehicle described in the Amber Alert
  • The suspect communicated with the teen through social media
  • Police initially thought the girl and the suspect were just within Colorado

A 13-year-old girl who went missing from Aurora, Colorado, on Tuesday was found safe Wednesday afternoon and a suspect was taken into custody, police said. The suspect reportedly drove from California to meet the teenager.

An Amber Alert was issued 2.45 p.m. Wednesday and around 5.15 p.m., the girl was found safe after a short chase with Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), Fox-affiliate KDVR reported.

The UHP said it located a dark blue 2001 Ford Crown Victoria described in the Amber Alert on Interstate 70 outside Green River, Utah, and set up spikes in the area should the driver flee. The vehicle was speeding near 100 mph when a trooper closed in behind the car, but the driver “pulled right over” as the vehicle approached other patrol officers. The girl was found safe inside the car.

The Aurora Police Department (APD) said the suspect, Navarro Cathey, was arrested in relation to the girl’s disappearance. The 41-year-old California resident reportedly spoke with the girl online, leading up to the latter’s disappearance, police said, according to The Denver Gazette.

Charges against Cathey are still pending and the girl will be evaluated for potential harm. Initial assessments revealed that police did not immediately believe she was harmed.

Officials said in the initial Amber Alert that they believed the teen may have either been “abducted or enticed” from her home after she was last seen Tuesday afternoon, WTVT reported. While the two have been communicating through social media, officials said they believe the two had a relationship.

Before arresting Cathey and determining the girl’s whereabouts, police believed that the girl and Cathey were possibly in the Vail area, which is a municipality in Colorado and a two-hour drive from Aurora. The APD had been working to get the teenager back to her family after the case was turned over from the UHP, but it is unclear whether the girl finally reconnected with her family.

This isn’t the first time a Colorado girl went missing as just last week, the Westminster Police Department (WPD) confirmed the arrest of 30-year-old Michael Patrick Buckley for his alleged role in the disappearance of an 11-year-old girl.

An Amber Alert was issued after the girl was reported missing and an affidavit obtained by KUSA-TV later revealed that Buckley met the girl through Craigslist. The missing girl told police that she had sexual contact with Buckley, who has now been charged with sexual assault as a pattern of abuse.

Carter Lake Colorado Carter Lake, Colorado Photo: Pixabay