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Man arrested near police station where teenage girl who vanished for four years suddenly appeared 2,000 miles from home
28 July 2023, 14:50 | Updated: 3 August 2023, 07:45
Police arrested a man close to the police station where a missing 18-year-old who vanished for four years re-emerged.
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Alicia Navarro, 18, turned up at the station in Havre, Montana, about 2,000 miles away from her family home in Glendale, Arizona.
She ran away in September 2019, leaving a note to her sleeping parents saying she was running away but would return.
Instead, she disappeared for years before walking into the station and announcing herself.
It has now been reported up to 10 heavily-armed officers descended on a flat a few streets away from the station on Wednesday evening.
They took a resident away in handcuffs, according to a neighbour. Rick Lieberg, who lives opposite, said he saw a young woman who resembled Navarro emerge later.
"She came out, talked to the officers, then two ladies pulled up and then she got into a car with them and they left," he said.
Officers remained at the scene for hours and took photos. The woman returned with the two women the next day but it is not known if she went into the flat.
Another witness said he was asked if he had seen a girl at the apartment, but told police he hadn't.
In an emotional video message after Navarro turned up, her mother Jessica Nunez said "miracles do exist" while police said their reunion had been emotional.
But the pair have not been brought back together in person, having spoken "briefly" on the phone, according to the family's private investigator Trent Steel.
"I think this is a happier ending than any of us thought," he said.
"We're absolutely thrilled. This is a win."
But Navarro has not made "her intentions clear" over whether she will come back to Glendale. Police say she is safe and well.
Officers in Glendale released a video of detectives speaking to Navarro over a video call.
"Did anybody hurt you in any way?" one asks.
"No, nobody hurt me," Alicia replies.
"OK. Because our goal - we just want to make sure that you're safe."
"I understand that," she says.
"Thank you very much for talking with us."
"Of course. Thank you for offering help to me."
Police are investigating what happened, with Nunez saying she fears her daughter met someone online who won her trust.
The note left for her said: "I ran away. I will be back. I swear. I'm sorry."
In her video message, a visibly emotional Nunez said: "For everyone who has missing loved ones, I want you to use this case as an example.
"That miracles do exist and never lose hope and always fight.
"My daughter, Alicia Navarro, was missing since September 15 2019. She has been found safe.
"I do not know the details, I do confirm that she is my daughter, she is alive, and she is safe.
"This is recent news for me. It was an hour before it was posted on social media and the news. I don't have details but the important thing is that she is alive.
"And I want to thank the community, and God, for all that you have done."