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Mom had concerns about 51-year-old man before missing daughter was found at his home, records show

According to the sheriff's office, James Dean, 51, faces charges after the 14-year-old girl was found at his home.
Credit: z1b - stock.adobe.com

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — The mother of a 14-year-old girl who was reported missing Thursday and later found safe had previously requested a protection order against the man now facing charges in connection with the girl's disappearance, court records show.

James Dean, 51, was arrested after the girl was found at his home in the 5100 block of Santa Clara Place, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) said.

BCSO initially said the girl was last seen around 9:40 a.m. Wednesday at Manhattan Middle School at 290 Manhattan Drive. She was seen walking inside the school but was absent from all of her classes.

Deputies sent out an alert Thursday afternoon asking the public to be on the lookout for the girl. They said she had no history of running away, and that it was possible that she was with someone she met online. 

The sheriff's office said around 8 p.m. Thursday that she had been found safe.

Dean is facing the following charges:

  • Violation of a custody order
  • Harboring a minor

According to an arrest affidavit, investigators went to Dean's home around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday looking for the girl, but Dean denied knowing where she was. At that time, deputies noted there were female belongings at the home even though no females lived there.

Around 9 p.m. that night, the girl posted on Facebook, "On my way to be a southern girl! Finally free," the affidavit says. Investigators were able to track the IP address connected to the location of where the post was made, according to the affidavit. It came to Dean's home, the affidavit says. The girl was later found hiding inside the home under a bed, according to the document.

The girl's mother filed for a protection order against Dean on behalf of her daughter last month, according to court records. In it, she wrote that Dean had "overstepped his bounds," and allowed her daughter to sleep over at his house.

A temporary protection order was granted on April 27 and a hearing for a permanent order was scheduled for May 11. The order was ultimately vacated. 

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