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

Members of the Utah Highway Patrol had a plan to use tire spikes, but Navarro Cathey immediately pulled over, document shows.

SEVIER COUNTY, Utah — A missing girl who was the subject of an AMBER Alert in November was found hiding under a blanket in the back seat of a vehicle following a traffic stop on Interstate 70 in Utah, according to a probable cause document from the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP).

The document provides new details about the Nov. 24, 2021 arrest of Navarro Cathey, who is now charged in connection with the disappearance of the 13-year-old girl who was reported missing from her Aurora home by her mother the day before.

Her mother also provided detectives with a string of emails between the girl and the suspect, who identified himself as Nathaniel McKinley in the emails and said he was 28, according to the Aurora Police Department (APD).

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.

>The video above is about online safety for teens and children.

Her mom also reported that her daughter had recently received a package from Amazon and detectives were able to use that information to identify Cathey as a suspect in the case, and an AMBER Alert was subsequently issued for him and his vehicle.

RELATED: Man sent cellphone to Aurora girl a week before she disappeared, affidavit says

Authorities in Utah were alerted about it and learned that Cathey's vehicle, an older Ford Crown Victoria with a California license plate, was headed westbound on I-70, the PC statement from UHP says.

A UHP officer located the vehicle traveling westbound on the highway near milepost 63, which is near the town of Richfield. 

In his report, the officer says tire spikes were put in place in case the suspect attempted to flee. Once the officer was close enough to where the spikes were placed, he activated his emergency lights and initiated a traffic stop, the PC statement says.

Credit: Aurora Police Department
Navarro Cathey

The driver immediately pulled over, the document says, and the officer approached the passenger side of the vehicle but could not see in the back window due to the dark tint, the document says.

Once the window was rolled down, he said he noticed a "very young female" lying across the back seat, the document says. He wrote in the report that she was underneath a blanket and "seemed like she was acting as if she was trying to hide."

The officer made contact with the driver, identified as Cathey, who was compliant and was quickly placed in handcuffs, the document says.

RELATED: Suspect in Aurora AMBER Alert pleads guilty to drug charges in Utah

When asked by the officer if he had anything illegal, Cathey admitted he had meth in his pocket, the document says. The officer later located about 10 grams of a white substance, believed to be meth, the document says.

A meth pipe was later found in the driver's door during a search of the vehicle, according to the PC statement.

A records check showed that Cathey had a suspended/revoked California driver's license, according to the PC statement. He was booked into the Sevier County Jail.

He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge in Utah on Dec. 21 and was sentenced to credit for time served. He's also ordered to pay a $750 fine with payments of $50 a month set to begin once he's released from Colorado custody. 

Cathey remains in Utah, although he has waived extradition to Colorado where he faces charges of internet luring of a child, sexual exploitation of a child, and internet exploitation of a child in Colorado.

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