A girl reported missing by her parents in Santa Clarita on Tuesday was found locked in the garage of a home where a convicted sex offender lived with his parents, authorities revealed on Wednesday.
The girl's parents reported her missing to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on Tuesday evening when they were unable to locate her, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Due to her age, she was considered a “critical missing person,” and deputies began an immediate search operation to locate her, the release stated.
Investigators called a number found on the girl's phone records, and a man, later identified as Kaene Dean, answered. He denied knowing the girl or her whereabouts, said Sgt. Brian Hudson with the LASD, Special Victim's Unit.
After running a background check on Dean, sheriff’s deputies went to the house where he lived with his parents in Saugus.
Dean's parents allowed deputies to search the house, Hudson said. They found the girl hiding inside the garage around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.
The victim told deputies she had been befriended by the 26-year-old Dean at an Albertson's grocery store in Saugus on Monday.
They exchanged phone numbers and met the next day at the same store, authorities said. Then later that night, Dean took the girl to his parent's home and sexually assaulted her, Hudson said.
Dean was arrested and booked at Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and was being held on $100,000 bail.
He was ordered to register as a sex offender in 2008 after being convicted of indecent exposure in Glendale. He was also on parole for burglary, the release stated.
"I have three daughters," said neighbor Patrick McGinness. "So when it's right across the street from your house, it's kind of upsetting."
Any adults or children who have had contact with Dean were urged to contact Special Victims Bureau Investigators at 877-710-5273.