The mother of a girl who vanished days before her 15th birthday has said ‘miracles do exist’ after she was found safe more than 1,000 miles away four years later.
Alicia Navarro, now 18, disappeared from her home in Glendale, Arizona, overnight on September 15, 2019. Her parents woke to find a note saying: ‘I ran away. I will be back. I swear. I’m sorry.’
Despite a massive search that included the FBI and attracted thousands of tips, no trace was found of the teenager.
Not until she showed up alone this week at a police station in a small town in Montana, around 40 miles from the Canadian border, and asked to be taken off the missing children list.
‘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.
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’.
Her mum, 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. Miracles do exist. Never lose hope and always fight.’
She said she has no information on her daughter’s disappearance but insisted ‘the most important thing is that she is alive’.
Investigators are now trying to piece together what happened to Alicia, who was diagnosed as high-functioning on the autism spectrum, since she disappeared.
Police said she told them that she hadn’t been harmed. They added that the teen faces no criminal charges and could come and go as she pleased.
‘She is not in any kind of trouble,’ Mr Santiago said.
Lt. Waite added: ‘We can only imagine what she’s going through, mentally, emotionally, as well as her family, and as much as we’d like to say this is the end, this is probably only the beginning of where this investigation will go.’
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