A private investigator has suggested that the reunion between a high-functioning autistic teen who was missing from her Arizona home for nearly four years and her mother may not have gone as smoothly as the family would have liked.
Alicia Navarro, 14, disappeared from her Glendale home in 2019, sparking a massive manhunt involving the FBI.
In July, the now 19-year-old walked into a police station 1,000 miles away and identified himself as missing. She was believed to have been reunited with her mother after turning up in Montana.
But a private investigator has now revealed that despite mom Jessica Nunez saying the two planned to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas together, something may have gone wrong.
Mom, Jessica Nunez, has explained how she and her daughter, Alicia Navarro, 19, planned to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas together
In July, Alicia Navarro walked into a police station in Montana and identified herself as missing. She is depicted as a 14 year old, although she is now 19
Trent Steele, co-founder of the Florida-based nonprofit Anti-Predator Project and the family’s main spokesperson, has cast doubt on whether the mother and daughter had shared a reunion yet – despite Alicia being divorced four months ago found it.
“We can’t even comment or confirm that they (Alicia and her mother) are reunited at this time,” Steele shared. The sun.
“I know there are some reports going around that she (Alicia) has been reunited, they said they had spoken to a family spokesperson. “I manage all the media on behalf of the family so I’m not sure who they’ve spoken to.”
Steele declined to be swayed by the exact living arrangements of family members.
“The family will come out and talk about it when they’re ready. They’ve made it pretty clear that they just don’t want any more media attention, they don’t want to comment on it. There may come a time when they do, but right now they just want some privacy.”
Private investigator Trent Steele questioned whether the mother and daughter had shared a reunion yet
Nunez seemed far from satisfied as she told how a planned press conference with her daughter, pictured, had been scrapped – and she closed the Facebook page set up to help find Alicia.
In a cryptic video message on Wednesday, Nunez appeared far from satisfied as she recounted how a planned press conference with her daughter had suddenly been canceled – and she was closing the Facebook page set up to help find daughter Alicia.
The family was scheduled to hold a press conference in Chicago, but it was abruptly canceled.
Nunez appeared to be reading from a carefully prepared script, her voice faltering several times.
“I know a press conference was scheduled at this time, but circumstances have changed and I have decided to release this video statement instead,” she said hesitantly.
‘This has been a very difficult journey, but it has a happy ending and today my journey is complete again.
“The holidays at our house will be very special this year for money reasons,” Nunez continued before taking a deep breath and sighing as she continued her statement.
“But none of this would have been possible without the support my family and I have received from all of you.”
When asked about the nature of the video, Steele was equally cryptic.
‘Everyone can deduce from this what they want. It could mean many things – it could mean that they are together; it could mean they talked on the phone, or it could mean they chatted online.
‘It can mean many different things. It is not without reason that we are very vague about this.’
Earlier this week, a family representative confirmed the teenager had received medical treatment and said there would be “challenges” as she has not been to school since her disappearance.
Alicia Navarro was believed to have been reunited with her mother after disappearing from her Arizona home in 2019 at the age of 14 – but that may not be the case now
Earlier this week, it was suggested that mom Jessica Nunez and her previously missing daughter Navarro would spend Christmas and Thanksgiving together — but that may no longer be true
Steele’s account that mother and daughter may not yet be reunited conflicts with that of Glendale police.
Lt. Scott Waite said Navarro had an “emotionally overwhelming” reunion with her mother and was “very apologetic for what she did to her mother.”
Nunez’s nightmare began when her daughter disappeared from her family home on September 15, 2019, just a week before her 15th birthday.
She left a note for her parents that said: ‘I ran away. I’ll be back, I swear. I’m sorry.’
Despite a multi-agency search and thousands of tips, she managed to evade authorities for more than four years.
But in July, she walked into a Maricopa County police station asking to be removed from the missing persons list so she could reapply for a driver’s license.
Shortly after investigators determined she had been living on the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana with her boyfriend Edmund Davis, 36.
Davis has since been charged with child sexual abuse over material found on his cell phone that he tried to hide in a trash can after police raided his Montana home.
Her mother expressed concern that Navarro, who had been diagnosed as high-functioning on the autism spectrum, may have been lured away by someone she met online when she disappeared four years earlier.
Edmund Davis, 36, is being held on $1 million bond at the Hill County Detention Center, charged with two counts of child sexual abuse
Investigators from police, the FBI and the US Marshals Office have been trying to determine what happened to Navarro after her disappearance. Police said Navarro told them no harm had been done to her.
Over the years, Nunez worked with various private law enforcement agencies, set up billboards, appeared on television programs and used social media in her efforts to find her daughter.
She said her daughter’s return is proof that ‘miracles do exist’ as she urged others not to lose hope as she announced she would close the page used to request information on the whereabouts of her daughter.
In a statement on Facebook, she added: “My family is now complete. I thank everyone for all the care and support, God is a miracle worker.’
The day before she disappeared, the teen asked her mother if she could stay out of school.
Nunez agreed and the duo then spent a pleasant day visiting a chocolate factory.
But that night, Navarro asked her mother what time she went to bed and slipped out of the house while she was asleep.
“I am more than 90 percent sure my daughter met this person online,” she claimed at the time.
She added that her daughter was quite a cautious person, so it would have been unusual for her to be easily lured.
“Knowing what my daughter’s personality is like, I don’t think she would have fallen for that,” Nunez said. “It probably took a while for this person to gain (her) trust.”