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Alicia Navarro’s mother pleads to ‘move on’ after teen’s mysterious reappearance

‘This is not a movie, this is our life, this is my daughter,’ Jessica Nuñez as she begged the public to leave her family in peace

Bevan Hurley
Monday 31 July 2023 18:27 BST
Alicia Navarro: Teenager missing for four years talks to police

Alicia Navarro’s mother has pleaded for the public to “move on” after the missing teenager mysteriously showed up at a Montana police station four years after disappearing from her Arizona home.

Jessica Nuñez posted an emotional video message to her Finding Alicia Facebook page on Sunday and said she and her family had been harassed and attacked online, and the search for answers about her 18-year-old daughters disappearance “has taken a turn for the dangerous”.

“Let’s focus that my daughter is alive. This is a miracle,” Ms Nuñez said.

Ms Nuñez’s voice faltered as she thanked supporters who had helped to keep attention on the missing person investigation.

“I can’t even put into words the amount of gratitude I have for you all,” Ms Nuñez said.

“But now that we know Alicia is alive, I have to ask one more favour of you. I know you want answers and I do, too. But the public’s search for answers has taken a turn for the dangerous,” she added.

“I have been harassed, my family has been attacked all over the internet — the public has gone from trying to help Alicia to doing things like trying to show up to her house and putting her safety in jeopardy,” Ms Nuñez said.

“So 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 added.

“I love her more than anything in the world, and I think I have shown you that. There’s an ongoing investigation and I’m begging you to move on.”

Alicia Navarro, left, before she went missing, and right, after her reappearance (Navarro Family/Glendale Police)

Ms Navarro disappeared from her Glendale home in September 2019 days before her 15th birthday, sparking a vast search operation involving police, the FBI and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

On 23 July, she showed up alone at a police station in Havre, Montana, about 40 miles from the Canadian border.

Police have remained tight-lipped about where they believe Ms Navarro has been for the past four years, and if they have identified any suspects.

A man living a few blocks from the Havre police station was arrested last week by officers executing a search warrant, a Glendale police spokesperson told the Associated Press. He has since been released without charge.

Ms Navarro told detectives in Glendale that no one had hurt her, but it’s unclear if she has shed further light on where she’s been, or if she will return to her family home.

Ms Nuñez has previously said that her daughter was on the autism spectrum, which made her shy in social situations.

Last week, a private investigator hired by the family told the New York Post Ms Navarro had only spoken briefly to her mother.

Trent Steel told the Post the family was thrilled she had been found safe, but that the teenager had “not made her intentions clear”.

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