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Mom of missing Glendale teen turns to TikTok to help find her daughter

Investigators say Alicia Navarro, now 15, disappeared September 15th, 2019. Next week, her family is planning a vigil for the one-year mark.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Next week marks one year since a 15-year-old Glendale teen with autism disappeared from her home.

Glendale Police say Alicia Navarro went missing on Sept. 15, 2019.  The last time her family saw her was at their home near 45th Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

"There is not one day that I don’t think of you," said Jessica Nunez, Alicia's mother. "There is not one day that I don’t ask myself are you okay? Where are you? And why haven’t you reached out to me?"

When Alicia disappeared, her family found a note inside their home written by Alicia that said she was running away but promised she'd be back.

"My daughter did not just disappear like that. I need to know what’s going on."

Investigators say Alicia is on the autism spectrum and worry she won’t be able to care for herself. Her mom says she gets messages almost daily about sightings, but so far none have led to Alicia’s return.

"Why would she swear to me that she was going to come back?" her mother said. "It’s been a year. I’m not at peace because of that."

As the search continues, her mother is trying to reinvent the wheel of despair she’s been stuck on since Alicia vanished.  She's now turning to TikTok to try and share her daughter's story.

The new push on social media was sparked in part by another Valley cold case with a big arrest last month.

Alissa Turney’s stepfather, Michael Turney, is now charged with second-degree murder after Alissa’s sister Sarah used TikTok to keep her sister’s story alive.

RELATED: Stepfather charged with murder in 2001 disappearance of Alissa Turney

"That’s what motivated me," Jessica says.

It also gives Jessica hope that any day a break in the case can yield some answers.

"I’m not going to give up," she said. "She’s my daughter."

Jessica started her TikTok account less than two weeks ago and already has close to 40,000 followers.  Some videos have more than 1 million views.

Next week, Jessica says they're holding a vigil on Sept. 15, which is the one-year mark of Alicia's disappearance. It's being held from 6-7 p.m. at 8114 N. Black Canyon Highway in Phoenix. Space will be limited due to social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Jessica says there’s also a $20,000 reward for anyone who has information that leads to Alicia.  

If you know anything, you can call 911 or the Glendale Police Department at 623-930-3000.

The family has also partnered with the Anti-Predator Project. You can reach them or send tips to 305-796-4859 or tips@antipredatorproject.org.

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