RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA — A 13-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita girl thought to have run away with a 48-year-old man was found safe today, hours after the man was detained for questioning.
Cheyenne Bradford went missing Wednesday, and was initially thought to have run away from home, said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
After her brothers looked on her computer and found explicit messages from Dave Burton Egert, the investigation shifted into high gear and an Amber Alert was issued this morning.
The alert was canceled after Egert was found about 1 p.m. in the Altadena area, where he used to live, said sheriff's Lt. Mike Jansen.
The girl was found safe in San Juan Capistrano about 4 p.m., Jensen said.
Cheyenne's brother, Jonathan, told the Orange County Register the girl contacted his wife shortly after Egert was found and said she had been alone since Thursday.
Hensen said it was unclear whether she had been with Egert, but "we are questioning her about how much contact she had with the suspect and what kind of relationship developed between her and the suspect.''
"I have no words. I can't even tell you, once I found out (Egert) was 48 years old, if this is the gentleman, I can't even go there right now,'' Cheyenne's mother, Monique James, told reporters earlier outside the family's home.
Amormino said Bradford may have met Egert online, and that they apparently exchanged sexually explicit messages through social networking websites such as MySpace or Facebook.
Bradford was still in custody, and whether or not he was involved in the girl's disappearance, it's possible he could be charged with other offenses involving inappropriate contact with a minor.