PHOENIX - It's been nearly a week since 14-year-old Alicia Navarro went missing in Glendale and today is especially emotional for her family and classmates because it's her 15th birthday.
Navarro is a freshman at Bourgade Catholic High school. Family and friends say she should be here today, celebrating homecoming along with the rest of the school. Instead, homecoming celebrations kicked off on a somber tone as classmates held a silent vigil, praying for the now 15-year-old to come home safe.
Students and staff at BCHS recognize Navarro's absence at the start of their homecoming rally. Her classmates found out on Monday that the normally shy and anxious freshman went missing.
"Alicia, she was a young girl of minimal words, but her smile said it all," said Esmerelda Murphy, Alicia's classmate. "Everyone knows her because of her smile."
Glendale police are currently asking the public for tips. Navarro had her phone, laptop, and a small backpack with her. Police say they have no specific information that she's no longer in the Phoenix area, but have expanded their reach for help and are now working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Meanwhile, the intimate celebration her mother had planned is on hold.
"Just us as a family singing her happy birthday," said Jessica Nunez, Navarro's mother. "I have a necklace that I bought her, it's still in a box."
Navarro's mother believes the teen may be with someone she met online. Navarro is especially vulnerable because she's autistic. She did leave a note, indicating she planned to be back.
"Please keep a look out for her and please return her," Nunez said. "Today's her 15th birthday, she's 15-years-old. It's been too long — it's been five days, I'm devastated."
Navarro was last seen at her home in Glendale at 45th Ave. and Rose Lane. Anyone who has information about where she might be now is asked to call the Glendale Police Department.