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Suspect in Aurora AMBER Alert makes first Colorado court appearance

Navarro Cathey was arrested in Utah in November after a 13-year-old girl was reported missing from her Aurora home.

AURORA, Colo. — The man arrested in Utah in connection with an AMBER Alert related to the disappearance of an Aurora girl in November is back in Colorado where he appeared in court Wednesday morning.

Navarro Cathey is accused of taking a 13-year-old Aurora girl across state lines in November before he was arrested in Utah, formally waived extradition to Colorado in late December after pleading guilty to drug charges in that state.

He is now back in Colorado where he faces the following charges:

  • Sexual exploitation of a child - enticement
  • Internet luring with intent to exploit
  • Internet sexual exploitation of a child

Cathey was advised of the charges against him during a hearing on Wednesday and is due back in court next month for a preliminary hearing.

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

Credit: ACSO
Navarro Cathey

The girl was reported missing on Nov. 23, 2021, from her home by her mother, who said her daughter was last seen around 2 p.m., 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.

RELATED: Parenting expert weighs in on abductions stemming from meeting online

The girl's mom said she would give police information about her daughter's social media accounts and emails, as well as information about the Amazon package sent to her daughter, according to the affidavit.

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

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.

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

According to documents from UHP, an officer noticed a "very young female" lying across the back seat. He wrote in the report that she was underneath a blanket and "seemed like she was acting as if she was trying to hide."

Cathey admitted he had meth in his pocket, the document from UHP 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 probable cause for arrest statement.

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

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

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