PHOENIX — The mother of a Glendale teenager who has been missing for nearly a year and a half is planning on putting up billboards of her missing daughter on the U.S.-Mexico border with funds recently donated through GoFundMe.
Similar billboards can be seen right here in the Valley, asking anyone who may have seen the teen, Alicia Navarro, to call the Glendale Police Department or the Anti-Predator Project.
Navarro has autism and is highly functioning. She was last seen in September 2019.
The billboards are the latest effort in a search that involves the Glendale Police Department and private investigators. All of it is spearheaded by Navarro’s mother.
“I have tried to do whatever I can to get answers of where my daughter is. It’s been a difficult year,” Jessica Nunez said.
Her daughter walked out of her parents’ house back in 2019. Late that same evening, she unexpectedly bumped into her mom downstairs.
“She said, ‘Oh, it’s late.’ So, she ran back upstairs, but I never thought that she was waiting for me to go to bed, because she had a plan,” Nunez said.
A note she left read -- which is now in the FBI’s custody -- read, “I ran away, I'll be back, I swear. I’m sorry. - Alicia.”
Her mom says she packed light, taking a small backpack that doubles as a purse, along with her computer and cell phone, but no chargers. At the time, she was just 14 years old.
“According to the evidence,” Nunez said, “I do believe she was lured online."
Navarro loved virtual gaming. Her mom says her otherwise introverted teen took on a different personality while she was playing online.
“My daughter was a really loving and caring person. Everywhere she went, if it was an animal or a person, she cared,” Nunez said.
While there is no evidence that Navarro is along the border or in Mexico, Nunez says the search is expanding into those areas.
“I have fear, confusion,” Nunez said. “But I will never lose hope.”
If you have any helpful information, call the Glendale Police Department at (623) 930-3000 or the Anti-Predator Project, who is investigating and managing a $20,000 reward, at (305) 796-4859.