A teenager who disappeared four years ago has been found alive in Montana. Alicia Navarro, who vanished from her home in Arizona in 2019, walked into a police station near the Canadian border and identified herself. Police officer Jose Miguel Santiago said Alicia is well but apologetic and is sorry for what her family endured during her absence.
“Since her disappearance, our men and women here have been working tirelessly around the clock to not only bring closure to this family but to make sure Alicia gets everything she possibly needs,” Officer Santiago said. He added that Alicia is not in “any kind of trouble.”
It is unclear what happened to the teenager or where she has been for four years. When she disappeared at 14, she left a note for her mom saying she was running away, but she’d be back. Alicia has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism and was the first person in Arizona to be subject to a silver alert – an emergency notification attached to missing persons with “specific cognitive or developmental disabilities.”
Jessica Nuñez, Alicia’s mother, spoke about the “miracle” of her daughter’s return on a Facebook page dedicated to the teenager. On the “Finding Alicia” page, Nuñez said her family had faced harassment and online attacks and pleaded with followers to move on. “I beg you, please, no more TikToks, no more reaching out to Alicia or to me with your speculation or questions or assumptions. This is not a movie, this is our life, this is my daughter,” she said.
America has one of the highest rates of missing persons in the world. In 2021, more than half a million were reported missing, and almost 100,000 remained absent as 2022 began. The majority of people who vanish are female and under 21 years old. As of 2022, there were 194,673 missing girls under 21, compared to 163,386 boys. Around 162,000 people over the age of 21 disappeared that year.