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Still searching, family of Alicia Navarro not giving up hope three years later

Posted at 10:06 PM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2023-07-26 18:30:42-04

*UPDATE: Glendale police announced on July 26, 2023, that Alicia Navarro has been located and is safe. Click here for the latest on this story.*

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“This anniversary has really hit her hard,” said Executive Director of Project 25 and family friend Kathleen Winn.

This week marks three years since Alicia Navarro’s mom, Jessica Nunez, started her desperate search.

“She was really hoping that before we got to this anniversary that her daughter would be returned to her,” said Winn.

Winn and her nonprofit have been supporting the family in their search for years. She said this day was just too painful for Nunez to speak.

“That not knowing is the most difficult trauma that a family can have,” said Winn.

Family said Alicia has Autism, and the only clue the teen left was a note promising she would return.

RELATED: Two years later, community still searches for Alicia Navarro

Three years later and you can still spot flyers posted around Glendale. This week marks three years since Alicia’s disappearance, but the teen’s 18th birthday is also just days away.

“What I can tell you is it’s not a cold case,” said President of the Anti-Predator Project Trent Steele.

Steele is a private investigator who's been working on the case since 2020. He told ABC15 his team is still actively following up on leads.

“It’s a combination of people that we've spoken with who we've interviewed along with online activities which leads us to believe she left the house that night voluntarily to meet someone she thought she knew,” said Steel.

Glendale police gave ABC15 this statement Thursday:

“At this time there is no new case information for release. On Tuesday she will turn 18, the important thing for the public to be aware of is that regardless of the fact that she will no longer be classified as a minor her case status will not be affected. She will still be listed as an unknown missing persons case and the case will still continue to be worked. Our detectives still get on average at least one workable tip a week to follow up on. We continue to ask that the public stay vigilant and if they believe they have any information or a sighting that they please call us at 623-930-3000 with any information. We hope that one day soon Alicia is located safely and reunited with her mother and family. Thank you for continuing to keep her story at the forefront.”

“There’s still a $20,000 reward if you have information,” said Steele.

Steele recommends if people have real-time information or see Alicia to call 911. He said anonymous tips through his team’s tip line as well 305-796-4859.