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Sex offender turns self in after alleged attempt to fake his own death

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Posted at 4:27 PM, Feb 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-20 23:30:44-05

FARMINGTON, Utah — A convicted sex offender who police said may have tried to fake his own death last year has turned himself in.

Norman Deem, 43, was booked into the Davis County Jail on January 22, according to the Davis County Sheriff’s Office.

“Mr. Deem walked into our jail lobby, identified himself, and explained that he had a couple warrants for his arrest,” said Deputy Ellis Bruch.

In May, Deem’s car and personal belongings were found abandoned along the Jordan River in Midvale, with a shotgun not far away. At the time, all the evidence seemed to point to a suicide, however, soon after, police began to question the timeline of events.

On May 8, 2013, Deem was arrested by Kaysville police for failing to register as a sex offender. The next day, authorities said he disappeared.

Authorities also wondered why Deem’s body had yet to wash up along the river, if he had died, and on January 22 they found out why.

“He just walked right in,” Bruch said. “He was fairly low-key, pretty calm about it, a little bit distraught, if you will. But he didn’t say much at all.”

Amidst the uncertainty of whether or not Deem was dead, the courts treated him as though he was alive, even issuing warrants for his arrest when he failed to appear for scheduled court hearings after his disappearance.

“It is pretty shocking,” Bruch said. “Most people that have a warrant of that magnitude will constantly run and try to get away from law enforcement, not walk into a lobby and turn themselves in.”

Deem is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, February 24.