The case of

Alicia Christiana Navarro

alicia_navarro
Victim

Alicia Christiana Navarro

Victim Race

Hispanic

Victim Date of Birth

2004-09-20

Victim Age

14

Date Reported

2004-09-15

Date of Death
Case Status
Incident Location

Glendale, Phoenix

Body Location

No location

Date of Conviction
Body Discovered Date

Not found

Murderer

Who is Alicia Navarro?

Alicia Christiana Navarro was born on September 20, 2004, in Glendale, Phoenix, Arizona. Daughter to Jessica and Nunez. She has two siblings and she is a very smart and sweet kid who shares a special bond with her mother Jessica. They support each other a lot.

Alicia Navarro is a bright, kind and sweet girl with hopes of one day becoming a surgeon. Her mother describes her as a very loving and caring person. Alicia faced some developmental challenges and delays when she was growing up such as learning to walk. She was also diagnosed with autism. Well, she was diagnosed with Asperger disorder but since 2013 Asperger syndrome is no longer given as an official diagnosis. It became part of the umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder; this made her always seek for a lot of order in her life and wanted certain things to remain the same. She was very picky with food and very particular about the clothes she wore. She could eat food only from McDonald’s or IHop, and she liked to pick specific clothes for specific days. But mostly she was wearing the same thing, usually sweaters. No matter if it was a cold day or a hot one.

Alicia was also diagnosed with social anxiety disorder; she preferred staying indoors with her family and close friends she kept from childhood. She didn’t enjoy being surrounded by too many people and would feel uncomfortable when she had to meet someone new. It was very hard for her sometimes to leave the family home due to her anxiety; sometimes the thought of leaving home would distress her so much she would curl up like a ball on the floor and scream. She had a behavioural coach to help her manage school but sometimes she would have to change schools when things were too much for her. In 2013, she started her classes at Bourgade Catholic High School in Phoenix. She was very excited to be there and she actually made some good friends.

14-year-old Alicia Navarro loved online gaming, she spent a lot of time in various online communities. Often staying up throughout the night to play and interact with people on games chat rooms and servers.  Her mother Jessica was aware of this and she would always talk to Alicia about protecting herself online and was always monitoring her and together with her therapist she would always explain about the possible dangers. In one opportunity, Jessica noticed that somebody was asking Alicia for private information, and then the person asked Alicia if she liked stuffed animals, when she said ¨yes¨, the person answered ¨I can be your stuffed animal¨. After this, Jessica took her phone away for a while and reported the chat to the police, alleging the person in the chat was probably a predator but nothing came of it. Jessica continued to do the best she could to take care of her daughter and her online life. She didn’t love the fact that Alicia talked to strangers everyday but she knew how difficult it was for her to meet new people in ¨real life¨ because of her anxiety. She could see her daughter was happy and she didn’t want to take that away from her.

Where Did Alicia Navarro Go?

Around the time of her disappearance, Alicia started to have some changes in her behaviour and personality. For example, she started asking her mother for make-up and body sprays, something she had never been interested in before due to her sensory challenges. Alicia usually rejected anything that smelled too strong. Her taste in music and clothing also took a turn. Instead of listening to her classic pop charts, she was listening to Pink Floyd. Like mentioned before, Alicia’s clothe of choice was sweaters, they kept her comfortable. She was asking her mother for backless tops and other garments Jessica knew were too far from Alicia’s comfort zone. Another ¨weird¨ thing Jessica noticed is how Alicia had become obsessed with the ¨Demon in a Bottle¨ comic from the Iron Man series. She begged her to buy it for her and she did. The comic was around 200 dollars. The weirdest thing was that when the comic arrived, Alicia didn’t open or read it. Alicia was also asking to go out with friends, which was a real surprise and everybody recognized it as a massive step.

A few days before her disappearance, Alicia’s anxiety was over the roof and was taking a few days from school. On Saturday September 14, Jessica decided to spend some quality time with her daughter and took her to have her eyebrows threaded, get McDonalds and enjoy her chicken nuggets. They had a wonderful day. Around 1:00am of September 15, Jessica was still up just waiting for her husband to come home from work and she heard Alicia laughing in her bedroom. It wasn’t unusual for Alicia to be up so late she was usually on the computer until very late at night. She came down for a glass of water and she and her mom chatted for a bit, Alicia seemed very happy. She asked her mom what was she doing awake and when she was planning on going to bed. Then she went back to her bedroom.

On Sunday September 15, around 2:00am, Alicia’s father got home from work and sat on the couch to watch tv. Jessica headed to her younger children’s room and fell asleep with them. Her husband fell asleep on the couch exhausted from working two jobs that day. A few hours later, around 7:00am, Jessica got up started making breakfast for her husband and Alicia’s siblings. Alicia almost never joined her family for breakfast.  She preferred going to Starbucks around midday.

At some point while making breakfast, Jessica noticed the back door of the house open. She thought it was strange but maybe her husband had left it open after taking the dogs out. But when he confirmed he hadn’t left it open, Jessica became worried that somebody might have broken in so immediately asked her husband to go check on Alicia. But Alicia Navarro wasn’t in her room or nowhere in the house. Jessica then went outside and saw some chairs stacked against one of the walls at the edge of their backyard. She then saw some small footprints in the mud leading away from the house. They seemed to be from Alicia’s pair of Vans. It seemed like Alicia had used the chairs to jump over the fence probably because she didn’t want to make any noise by opening it.

When Jessica went back upstairs to Alicia’s bedroom, she noticed Alicia had taken her cell phone, MackBook and her very expensive comic book with her. Something that made her think maybe she wouldn’t be gone for long is that Alicia didn’t take the chargers for the phone or the laptop. Alicia had also left her medication behind. With those hopeful thoughts in mind, Jessica called the police to file a missing person complaint.

Police Investigation

After police officers arrived to Alicia Navarro’s home and took a look at the scene, they got to the same conclusion. Alicia had run away. In their eyes, Alicia was a teenager doing what teenagers do. But Jessica kept trying to make them understand Alicia wasn’t like every other teenager, she was a teenager with autism! It wasn’t easy for her to get police to issue a Silver missing person alert. This stands for is a public notification system in the United States to broadcast information about vulnerable missing persons – especially senior citizens with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other mental disabilities – in order to aid in locating them. For the Glendale Police Department, this was the first time they had to issue this alert for a child in the Arizona area.

The next day after Alicia’s disappearing, Jessica went to her bedroom to see if she could find any other leads and she found a note written by Alicia, it said:

¨I ran away. I’ll be back, I swear. I’m sorry. Alicia¨

Alicia left home wearing a white sweatshirt, a whitewash denim overall skirt, and black and white Vans sneakers. She has brown hair, brown eyes and she 4’5″.

The last time Alicia went online was at 3.26 am on the day she went missing. Since none heard any barks or screams, the police concluded Alicia left the house on her own, between 3.30 am and 7 am.

Since it seemed like Glensdale police was convinced that Alicia Navarro had just ran away and she would probably be back home soon, they were very slow in their investigation. Jessica had to go herself door to door to her neighbours trying to collect CCTV that gave her any leads about her daughter. Some of the footage she managed to get showed a white truck entering and leaving the neighbourhood around the time they suspect Alicia left but the quality of the video was too poor and they were unable to see the plate so the police couldn’t

On September 19, one of Alicia’s friends reported seeing her walking with a much older male who was covered in tattoos. They were seen around 4:00pm in La Pradera Park. Jessica went to the park following this tip and started asking people if they had seen Alicia. A person that went to the park regularly confirmed seeing the couple and they believed the young girl was Alicia.

Alicia Navarro’s 15th birthday was on September 20 and her family was sure she was going to come back to celebrate it with them. So they put together a small party. They invited her closest friends, bought her favourite cake- a red velvet- and made reservations at a fancy restaurant since Alicia had mentioned before she wanted stake for her birthday, it was going to be the first time she had stake ever. There were a lot of expectations but Alicia never appeared.

When talking to some of Alicia’s friends from school, they told police that Alicia had expressed her plans to run away to California. When talking particularly to a boy Alicia had recently met in the mall for an afternoon with friends, he said Alicia had a burner phone and a backpack with her when she met him that day. Jessica believed that was impossible because she  dropped Alicia off that day and she wasn’t carrying anything. The other boy with them that afternoon said that Alicia told him she was going to run away and asked him if he wanted to come too.  The FBI got involved shortly after.

FBI learned that Alicia was a tech savy and that she spent a lot of time online. They started looking into her chats and found Alicia talked to a lot of people. Investigators checked several conversations she’d had with people as well as obtaining warrants to interview people. They feared Alicia had met an online predator and this person had lured her away after gaining her trust. A 20-year-old  man named Clark, who lived in Oregon, said he and Alicia used to talk a lot. She was a good friend. Clark said Alicia had recently told him she had sold her X-box and she had a new boyfriend. He said sometimes he could tell she wasn’t entirely telling the truth, that she elaborated stories so he didn’t know if those particular things were true. This took them weeks and even months but nothing came from them; still no news of Alicia or her whereabouts.

More than two years have gone by since Alicia Navarro disappeared. Her family partnered a while ago with the Antipredator Project, described by themselves as a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating human trafficking and sexual predators in the United States through the use of specially trained private investigators. Anti-Predator Project is also highly dedicated to educating the community about the reality of human trafficking in the United States.

In March 2022, Jessica Nunez told Latin American media Telemundo that the Anti-Predator project had something that may lead to finding her daughter or what happened to her. They haven’t disclosed any more information ever since.

Jessica Nunez has never stopped looking for her autistic daughter, she continued posting signs in the streets, on online sites dedicated to missing persons, she even started a GoFund me cause to raise money and put a digital billboard near the US-Mexico border, giving up on her daughter is not in her plans.

If you have any information or have seen Alicia, please call Detective Mario Sanchez from the Glendale Police Department at 1-623-930-3166 or Child Find of America at 1-800-I-AM-LOST (1-800-426-5678) or the Anti-Predator Project at 305–796–4859.

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