February 28, 2024

Missing Arizona Girl Reappears After Saying in 2019 She Ran Away

  • In 2019, 14-year-old Alicia Navarro left a note to her mom in Arizona saying she was running away.
  • An expert told the Arizona Republic last year the note suggested she didn’t plan to be gone long.
  • Now 18, Navarro reappeared in Montana this week, and police are trying to find out what happened.

Just days before her 15th birthday, Alicia Navarro left a note in her Glendale, Arizona, bedroom: “I ran away. I will be back, I swear. I’m sorry.”

That note — from September 15, 2019 – marked the last time Navarro’s mother, Jessica Nuñez, would hear from her for several years.

“We didn’t fight. There was no reason for her to leave. We even had plans for her birthday,” Nuñez told the Arizona Republic in 2020.

Nearly four years later, her mother finally has answers.

Navarro, now 18, recently reappeared in an undisclosed Montana town near the Canadian border and identified herself to local police, Jose Santiago, spokesman for the Glendale Police Department, said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

Police have since helped reunite Navarro and Nuñez.

Nuñez has run a Facebook page called “Finding Alicia” since January 2020. On Wednesday, she posted a video telling her followers that Navarro was found safe.

“I do not know the details. I do confirm that she is my daughter, she is alive, and she is safe,” Nuñez said.

Navarro’s note and the details surrounding her disappearance indicated she didn’t plan on being gone for four years, Kathleen Winn, director of Project25, a nonprofit dedicated to solving cases of human trafficking, told the Arizona Republic last year.

“The note that she left suggested that she didn’t plan on being gone very long, and the clothes that she left in her closet, some of her favorite things, also suggests to us that she herself didn’t know she wouldn’t be returning,” Winn told the paper.

Police said they believe Navarro initially ran away voluntarily, but that the details surrounding her prolonged disappearance are still under investigation.

“Every indication she’s given us so far is that she willfully left her home out of her own free will and choice,” Lt. Scott Waite said at the police press briefing. “The dynamics surrounding that decision are obviously something we’re looking into.”

Trent Steele, president and national director of the Anti-Predator Project, also told the Arizona Republic last year that Navarro likely did not disappear on her own.

“Nobody just disappears,” Steele said. “There’s somebody in the Valley, there’s somebody in Arizona that knows something, and we need that person to come forward.”

The US Marshals Service and the FBI are assisting Glendale Police in the continued investigation, Waite said.

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