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New details have emerged about where Arizona teen Alicia Navarro was during the four years she was considered missing.
Navarro had reportedly been seen with an unknown man numerous times in Havre, Montana, the town where she walked into a police station last week to remove herself from the missing person list. Garrett Smith, who lived in the same apartment building as Navarro, told the New York Post he heard her fighting with the man she was living with.
“I was here the other day and I heard them yelling. She did say, ‘I will go back.’ But that’s all I heard,” he told the outlet. “It was the day before she turned herself in.”
It is not yet known how Navarro got to Montana, but Smith told the Post that she and a man in his 20s had been living in the apartment complex for at least a year. Smith also said he spoke to Navarro for the first time when she said she was “looking for her uncle” near a post office. This occurred just days before she walked into the Havre police station.
“She was asking for directions. She looked scared,” he said, adding that she didn’t appear to know the area.
Navarro reportedly told authorities that she wanted to be removed from the missing person’s list so she could get a driver’s license and live a “normal life.”
“She said she was walking with her uncle and got lost and she’s looking for 6th Street,” Smith said. “I later found out that she was referring to him as her uncle.”
Jessica Nunez reported her daughter missing after she disappeared at the age of 14 on September 15, 2019. At the time, Navarro left a note saying, “I ran away. I will be back, I swear. I’m sorry.” Her mother feared that Navarro might have been lured away from home by someone she met on the internet. Nunez also noted that her daughter was diagnosed as high-functioning on the autism spectrum, the AP reported.
Navarro’s disappearance launched a nationwide search that included help from the FBI, which received thousands of tips over the years, Glendale, Arizona, police spokesman Jose Santiago said at a press conference on Wednesday.
“For more than four years detectives here have followed up on THOUSANDS of leads,” the Glendale Police Department posted on Facebook. “This week, Alicia walked into a police department in a small town in Montana and identified herself. At that point, Federal partners, local police along with detectives here at Glendale Police began their investigation into this individual. Through our interviews, along with family members, we are confident that the now 18-year-old young lady is indeed Alicia Navarro.”
The police department cautioned that the case was not closed.
“We are continuing to investigate her whereabouts for the last four years and will do so alongside our Federal partners. Alicia is asking for privacy at this time. We are thankful we can bring some type of closure to her family. We are also thankful she appears to be in good health and happy.”