(NEW YORK) — A 14-year-old Arizona girl who mysteriously went missing in 2019 has been found “safe, happy and healthy” in Montana, authorities said.
Alicia Navarro, now 18, went alone to a police department in a small Montana town near the Canadian border to identify herself and ask for help to get cleared off a missing juvenile list, the Glendale, Arizona, police announced Wednesday.
When she came forward, which Glendale police said was within the last few days, they started to investigate, and authorities said they are confident that this young woman is Navarro.
Glendale Police Lt. Scott Waite called the news “relief and joy for us, for Alicia, for her family and for our community.”
The investigation is ongoing, Waite noted, as police “begin to put together the puzzle which is her disappearance and her returning.”
Police said Navarro is not facing any charges and noted that she’s been extremely cooperative with investigators.
“To us she is a victim, and we need to provide services to her,” Waite said.
Authorities said that, according to Navarro, “This started as a runaway situation.” Police said it is not clear if she has been with anyone over the last four years.
“I think for Alicia, she felt like now was the time that, whether it’s emotionally, mentally, that she wants to take the next steps in her life,” Waite said. “She’s expressed a desire to move forward in life.”
Navarro was reunited with her mother, police said, adding that she’s “very apologetic to what she’s put her mother through … and it was not intentional.”
Navarro didn’t need any immediate medical attention, Waite said.
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