Alicia Navarro was a 14-year-old girl living in Glendale, Arizona with her younger sister and brother, father Ivan, and mother Jessica Nuñez before she disappeared. Alicia was known as a sweet and simple girl. From a young age, she had advanced sensory abilities and learned to tie her shoes and do laundry. She was also very smart with electronics and enjoyed spending most of her time playing video games such as Minecraft and Roadblocks. She loved to wear sweatshirts even in the Arizona heat and go to McDonald’s to get her favorite order of chicken nuggets.
Alicia attended Bourgade Catholic High School in Phoenix and described herself as “introverted, nerdy, shy” on her first day of school. Life was not always easy for Alicia, however, as she had to take medications, had a compromised immune system, and was diagnosed with autism. She was high-functioning on the autism spectrum but her family still hired a behavior coach to help her through the challenges she faced from being in a school environment. She had a small group of childhood friends as well as her many online gaming friends.
On Friday, September 13, 2019, Alicia asked her mother, Jessica, if she could skip school and her mother agreed, reasoning that she was feeling nervous. Alicia spent most of that day in her room. On Saturday, she spent the day with her mother, getting her eyebrows threaded and visiting a chocolate factory. Jessica remembered her daughter as being very happy that day.
On Sunday night, September 15, at approximately 1:00 am, Jessica was waiting for her husband, Ivan, to get off work when Alicia walked downstairs to get a glass of water. Seeing Alicia up late at night was not new to her mother as she knew Alicia often stayed up late to play video games and talk to her online gaming friends. Alicia asked her mother what time she was going to bed before she headed back upstairs to her room. At some point during the night after her husband returned home, the two went to bed.
The next morning, at around 7:00 am, Jessica was up making breakfast for her family. Ivan and Alicia’s younger brother and sister were up, but Alicia was not up yet. While putting together the food, Jessica noticed that the back door to the house was slightly ajar. She went out to the yard to make sure nothing was amiss but soon discovered that someone had moved and stacked several of the chairs in the yard against the back wall. There were also shoe prints near the chairs that appeared to be the same size as Alicia’s. Jessica suspected that the chairs had been stacked to help her daughter jump over the wall.
Jessica went to Alicia’s room, but her room was empty and Alicia was nowhere to be found; on Alicia’s desk there was a note to her parents that read: “I ran away. I will be back. I swear. I’m sorry.”
Alicia’s laptop was also gone, but not the chargers. Jessica immediately called the police to inform them of Alicia’s disappearance. Police arrived at the home to search the house, but did not find anything else unusual.
Five days later, on September 20, 2019, Alicia turned fifteen years old. She did not make any contact with her family or friends and her social media was not active. Jessica believes that someone from one of Alicia’s online gaming communities convinced her to meet, and then kept her from returning home.
I just feel like she’s in danger. She would have never been gone this long – not without getting in touch with me. Someone has her and I’m so worried.Jessica Nuñez, mother of Alicia Navarro
As police actively work the case, Jessica continues to keep Alicia’s story alive in the news by doing interviews, which have led to two tips about her possible whereabouts. The first tip was from a woman who claimed to have seen Alicia walking with a man holding hands at a location approximately ten minutes from Alicia’s and her family’s home. The second tip came in from another woman claiming to have seen Alicia in the same area. The tips unfortunately did not lead to any breakthroughs.
The Glendale Police Department still does not know for sure whether Alicia was lured away or if she left on her own accord and is actively searching for her with the assistance of the FBI and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
An age-progressed photo of Alicia at the age of 17 has also been released.
To date, this case is still unsolved and police are actively searching for Alicia.
If you have any sort of information regarding this case, please contact the Glendale Police Department at 623-930-3000 or Child Find of America at 1-800-I-AM-LOST (1-800-426-5678).
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