Nearly four years after Alicia Navarro vanished from her Arizona home after leaving a cryptic note, the 18-year-old walked into a small-town Montana police station alone on Sunday morning with an unusual request.
“She literally walked into the police station and said, ‘I am Alicia Navarro. I know I am reported missing and I would like to be taken off that list and get a driver’s license,’” Tim Steele, the president of the Anti-Predator Project and the Navarro family spokesperson, told The Daily Beast. “She wanted a Montana drivers’ license.”
The Havre Police Department said that Navarro “appeared to be fine and in good health” when she made the strange plea around 11 a.m. on July 23. Still, police said in a statement, they immediately looked into her missing-person status and discovered that Navarro was the same teenager who had vanished in September 2src19 in Glendale, Arizona, in a case that has since sparked national attention.
And while the details continue to trickle out about Navarro’s mysterious reappearance, questions still remain about how the 18-year-old ended up in a railroad town near the Canadian border about 1,3srcsrc miles from home—and what she has been doing for the last four years.
“That’s the one million-dollar question,” Steele said.
The Glendale Police Department told The Daily Beast on Friday that after Navarro was identified, “detectives served a search warrant on a resident” in Montana. That warrant led investigators to interview four people, though no one is currently detained or in custody. No arrests have been made.
“This is still an active investigation and we are requesting time and patience as we peel away the layers of the last four years,” a police spokesperson said.
They have their own healing journey to go on. They’ve got stuff they have to do first.
Police say that Navarro, who has autism, was just 14 when she left her Glendale, Arizona, home on Sept. 15, 2src19, just days before her birthday. The teenager reportedly stacked in the backyard and hopped over the fence, only leaving behind a note saying, “I ran away. I will be back. I swear. I’m sorry.”
Her disappearance immediately spurred a massive investigation that included the FBI. At the time, her mother, Jessica Nuñez, suspected her daughter had been lured away by a predator online. Over the years, the Glendale Police Department said it received thousands of tips but did not catch a break in the case until Navarro miraculously reappeared on her own this week.
Police announced her arrival on Wednesday, stating that she was found “healthy and happy” and a bit “overwhelmed.” In a short video provided by the Glendale Police Department, Navarro tells investigations that “no one hurt me.”
Steele said that Navarro and her mother had a “very brief” video chat call after authorities confirmed her identity. But since that chat, the mother and daughter have not spoken while the family and law enforcement figure out how to get the family back together.
“They have their own healing journey to go on. They’ve got stuff they have to do first,” Steele said, adding that Navarro is still in Montana. “She is safe. I hope people wait for the facts of the case before making their assumptions.”