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An Autistic Arizona Teenager Went Missing Without a Trace in 2019. She Just Walked Into a Montana Police Station Apologetic and Healthy.

arizona teen found after missing  years alicia navarro
Source: Glendale Police Department

Jul. 27 2023, Published 12:59 p.m. ET

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Alicia Navarro, a teenager in Arizona, went missing without a trace nearly four years ago, and now authorities say she is safe after walking into a police station in Montana this week.

According to the Glendale Police Department, 18-year-old Navarro showed up alone this week in a small town about 40 miles from the Canadian border. She identified herself to authorities as Alicia Navarro.

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The Glendale Police Department said they were “proud" to announce Navarro was located.

In a statement, police said, "Through our interviews, along with family members, we are confident that the now 18-year-old young lady is indeed Alicia Navarro."

Navarro went missing in 2019 and her disappearance sparked a massive search, which included the FBI, CBS News reported.

In a press conference, Glendale police spokesperson Jose Santiago said detectives received thousands of tips over the years.

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Navarro’s mother, Jessica Nunez, raised concerns that Alicia, who was diagnosed as high-functioning on the autism spectrum, may have been lured away by someone she met online, CBS News reported.

Investigators have been trying to determine what happened to the teenager after she disappeared at the age of 14 on Sept. 15, 2019.

Missing Children

When she went missing, Navarro left a signed note that read: “I ran away. I will be back, I swear. I’m sorry,” according to CBS News.

The name of the town in Montana that Navarro showed up in wasn’t immediately disclosed, but Montana is more than 1,000 miles from Arizona.

Navarro told police she hadn’t been harmed and she wasn’t being held. She could come and go as she pleased, CBS News reported.

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Santiago said, “She is not in any kind of trouble,” and she doesn’t face any criminal charges.

He added, "She is by all accounts safe, she is by all accounts healthy, and she is by all accounts happy."

"This case is far from being closed," police said in the statement. "We are continuing to investigate her whereabouts for the last four years and will do so alongside our federal partners."

Navarro had an “emotionally overwhelming” reunion with her mother, Lt. Scott Wait told CBS News. She was “very apologetic (as) to what she has put her mother through.”

Nunez has confirmed that her daughter has been found, but gave no other details.

In a video posted to her Facebook, Nunez said she was to “give glory to God for answering prayers and for this miracle.” She told anyone who has missing loved ones that “miracles do exist” and to “never lose hope and always fight.”


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