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Suspect in 2021 Amber Alert pleads guilty

Navarro Cathey, 42, was accused of taking a 13-year-old Aurora girl into Utah in November.

AURORA, Colo. — A man who was arrested in Utah in connection with an Amber Alert related to the disappearance of an Aurora girl in 2021 has pleaded guilty to two charges, according to court records. 

Navarro Cathey, 42, was accused of taking a 13-year-old Aurora girl across state lines in November. He pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of felony sexual exploitation of a child. The other charges against him were dismissed as part of the plea agreement, according to court records.

From January: Suspect in Aurora AMBER Alert makes first Colorado court appearance

The girl was reported missing on Nov. 23 from her home by her mother, Aurora Police said.

A week prior, on Nov. 16, the girl's mother confronted her about a package she received that contained a cellphone, an affidavit in support of Cathey's arrest says. That resulted in a fight between them and her mother eventually contacted police, the affidavit says.

The mother reported to police that her daughter had received a cellphone from an "unknown person" whom she had been talking to over the internet, the affidavit says.

When she reported her daughter missing on Nov. 23, the girl's mother provided detectives with a string of emails between her daughter and the suspect, who identified himself as Nathaniel McKinley in the emails and said he was 28.

According to the affidavit, the conversations "quickly" became sexual in nature, and the man arranged to meet the girl, who said in the email exchanges that she was 13.

RELATED: Missing Aurora girl was found hiding under blanket during Utah traffic stop

Investigators reached out to Amazon about the package that was sent to the girl and determined which account purchased the phone, the affidavit says. That led them to Cathey, whose middle name is Nathaniel. From there, detectives found a vehicle registered to him and learned that a Vail police officer had run the plate for it at about 7:30 a.m. Nov. 24. 

About 4:40 p.m. Nov. 24, Aurora Police were notified by the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) that they had stopped the vehicle and that Cathey was in custody. UHP said the girl was safe and had been found under some blankets in the back seat of the car, the affidavit says.

Cathey will be sentenced on Jan. 9.

From January: AMBER Alert suspect's Utah case resolved, could be back in Colorado soon


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