PHOENIX - People are still reacting to news that an Arizona teen who went missing years ago has been found safe.
On July 26, officials with the Glendale Police Department announced that Alicia Navarro, who left her home in Glendale in 2019, was found in Montana.
Police confirmed that no arrests have been made in connection to the case, and no one has been detained or in custody. Four people were interviewed after a search warrant was served at a home, but no other information was released.
"This is still an active investigation and we are requesting time and patience as we peel away the layers of the last four years," said Ofc. Gina Winn with Glendale PD.
"Miracles do exist, and always hope and always fight," said Jessica Nunez, Alicia's mother.
Questions remain over how Alicia ended up out of state
One day after news of Alicia's reappearance was announced, we are learning more about where exactly she has been.
According to police in Havre, Mont., a town located near the U.S.-Canadian border, Alicia walked into the town's police station, saying she wanted to be taken off the missing person's list.
Trent Steele, President of a group named the Anti-Predator Project, said Alicia wanted to get her ID and other documents.
Nunez reunited with Alicia on July 26 via a video call. Questions, however, remain as to what Alicia has been doing since she disappeared in 2019.
"There's still a lot of moving parts, a lot of moving pieces," said Steele. "I think information is probably going to continue to come out for the next weeks, months, maybe even years."
Steele has been by Nunez's side since Alicia went missing, working to find the girl.
"If I went back and looked, well, over 1,000, 2,000 maybe, and they've come in from all over," said Steele, referring to tips he and his group received on Alicia's whereabouts prior to the developments on July 26. "All over the country, all over the world, and we've gotten tips from Europe, Mexico, Canada. From coast to coast, Los Angeles to New York, Seattle to Miami. I mean, we've gotten tips all over the world."
"Why did Alicia end up in Montana?" we asked Steele.
"Well, that's the million-dollar question," Steele replied.
In our previous reports, Nunez has said that Alicia enjoyed online gaming, and could have been lured away from home.
"There was a certain point where she maybe didn't expect this to have this type of outcome, so she's pretty overwhelmed," said Steele. "She's trying to deal with the situation, and you know, obviously, she still has other kids at home. She still has a life to live. So she's trying to get this all in perspective, and pull everything together."
Meanwhile, Glendale Police investigators are still trying to piece together the timeline of Alicia's disappearance.
Officials say detectives have served a search warrant at a residence in Montana. Four people have been interviewed, but no arrests have been made.
On July 28, we spoke with a man named Jeffrey Hummert. He said he recognized Alicia in the news, claiming to have seen her in June 2022.
"It was like a light bulb [turned on] in my head," said Hummert. "All the gears started turning, and everything started coming back together."
Hummert said he was working on a project at a city park when he noticed the teen.
"I didn't talk to her anything like that, but it was mainly she was sitting at the gazebo," said Hummert.
Hummert said Alicia wore black clothing with a blue jacket.
"It was almost identical," said Hummert. "Obviously, give or take a few things."
Hummert said Alicia sat by herself, eating lunch before walking off with a plastic Walmart bag.
"She seemed like she didn't want to make any sort of contact whatsoever, and after we kind of kept looking at it because she did have that lunch bag, she kind of took off on us, and that was the last we saw her," said Hummert.
Retired FBI Special Agent Jennifer Coffindaffer says probable cause leads to obtaining a search warrant, and any evidence recovered will be instrumental to this case. Still, many questions remain on how Alicia has been living since she ran away.
"Where has she been staying? What was her room like? Was she cohabitating in a sexual nature with the person that she was living with? How long did all of this go on?" said Coffindaffer.
Family issues statement on Alicia being found safe
On July 27, we received a statement from Alicia's family on the latest developments in Alicia's case. The statement reads:
"We want to start by saying how happy we are that Alicia has been found alive and safe. It is a blessing that after being missing for so long Alicia can come back home. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families of missing loved ones that have not yet returned home. If there is anything that Alicia’s story has taught us is that you can never give up hope.
We would also like to thank the Glendale Police Department and specifically Detective Travis Darby for his hard work and dedication to bringing Alicia home. Thank you to the entire Anti-Predator Project team not only for their hard work and dedication to bringing Alicia home but also for their commitment to supporting our family through these hard times. The local and national media has been so important the last several years in keeping Alicia’s story alive and our family cannot say thank you enough for that. Finally, we would like to say thank you for all the love and support we have received from everyone around the country. It has helped our family through some very dark times, and we cannot say thank you enough. At this time, we are asking for some privacy so our family can begin the healing process and reclaim some normalcy. You have all been a blessing in our life and we wish you all the very best."
Alicia's mother, Jessica Nunez, said she is not ready to speak publicly, but did tell us that she has not been able to talk with her daughter extensively. She was only able to confirm Alicia's identity over a short FaceTime call.