Arizona teen missing for nearly four years shows up safe at Montana police station

27 July 2023

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona teenager who vanished without a trace nearly four years ago is safe after walking into a police station in Montana, authorities said Wednesday.

Alicia Navarro, 18, of Glendale showed up alone this week in a small town about 40 miles (64 kilometers) from the Canadian border and identified herself, according to police in Glendale, a Phoenix suburb.

The name of the town wasn’t immediately disclosed but Montana is more than 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) from Arizona.

“She is by all accounts safe, she is by all accounts healthy, and she is by all accounts happy,” police spokesman Jose Santiago said at a news conference.

Investigators were trying to determine what happened to Navarro after her disappearance at age 14 in Sept. 15, 2019.

Police said Navarro told them that she hadn’t been harmed.

She wasn’t being held, can come and go as she pleases and doesn’t face any criminal charges, police said.

“She is not in any kind of trouble,” Santiago said.

When she disappeared from her home, Navarro left a signed note that read: “I ran away. I will be back, I swear. I’m sorry.”

Her mother raised concerns that Navarro, who was diagnosed as high-functioning on the autism spectrum, may have been lured away by someone she met online.

Her disappearance sparked a massive search that included the FBI. Santiago said over the years, police had received thousands of tips.

Lt. Scott Waite said that Navarro had an “emotionally overwhelming” reunion with her mother and was “very apologetic (as) to what she has put her mother through.”

Jessica Nunez confirmed that her daughter had been found but said she had no details.

“I want to give glory to God for answering prayers and for this miracle,” she said in a Facebook post.

“For everyone who has missing loved ones, I want you to use this case as an example,” she said. “Miracles do exist. Never lose hope and always fight.”

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