On Wednesday, July 26, a Montana Police Department announced that they have found Alicia Navarro, a now 18-year-old teen who was reported missing in 2019. Navarro, who is on the autism spectrum, reportedly walked into a police station in a small Montana town and identified herself to the officer.
Police said that Navarro came to the police station herself. Investigators have not yet confirmed where the teen was for the past four years.
According to the Daily Beast, authorities confirmed that Alicia Navarro appears happy and healthy. However, they are still attempting to probe the circumstances behind the teen’s disappearance.
A Glendale police department spokesperson confirmed that Navarro has been reunited with her family. Authorities did not disclose the name of the small Montana town where the teen was found.
Authorities believe that Alicia Navarro left home of her own accord
Alicia Navarro first went missing from her home in Glendale, Arizona on September 15, 2019. At the time of her initial disappearance, her mother believed that the then 14-year-old had been taken away by an online predator.
However, in light of her recent discovery, Police Lt. Scott Waite said that the teen most likely left home willingly:
“Every indication she’s given to us so far is that she willfully left her home. Now the dynamics surrounding that decision are obviously something we’re looking into.”
Jose Santiago, a spokesperson for the Glendale Police Department, said that Alicia Navarro went to the police station by herself. There was no indication that Navarro was accompanied by someone. Santiago said that the 18-year-old spoke to officers alone:
“She showed up to a police department. She identified herself as Alicia Navarro. She basically asked for help to clear her off of a missing juvenile list.”
Officers also had to clarify to the teen that she had not broken any laws by willingly leaving her house. However, they are still attempting to put together a timeline of where the teen was, and whether she stayed with anyone during her four years away from home.
“There’s a lot of mixed emotions with this particular announcement that we are having. We are happy and at the same time we are hopeful that we will be able to supply this family with a little more closure (…) She is not in any kind of trouble. She is not facing any kind of charges.”
Santiago added that Navarro wanted to apologize to her mother, as she knows her disappearance caused a great degree of concern. However, the teen reportedly plans to continue with her life, and rebuild her relationship with her family.