Lured from Home

In September of 2019, Jessica Nunez is preparing for her daughter Alicia’s Quinceañera. Alicia, who is mildly autistic, is not requesting the typical “big bash” that comes with most Quinceañera celebrations. All Alicia wants is a “fancy dinner” with her family and a red velvet cake from her favorite local bakery. On the morning of Saturday, September 19th, five days before Alicia’s birthday celebration, Jessica wakes up to find that her daughter is missing. Alicia’s laptop and iPhone are also gone, along with her backpack. She has left a cryptic note behind: “I ran away. I will be back, I swear. I’m sorry.” In March of 2020, Jessica contacts Trent Steele, a former member of the CIA. He runs an organization called the Anti-Predator Project. Trent determines that Alicia has likely been lured away and kidnapped by a sophisticated network of human traffickers. Where’s Alicia?

To leave a tip about Alicia, contact the Glendale Arizona Police Department at 623-930-3000, or the Anti-Predator Project at 305-796-4859, or submit a tip to our website.

Download a transcript of this episode


  1. Nat.

    What about tracing her cell phone..doesn’t sound like human trafficking to me..sounds worse..I think she went to meet up with a monster..


  2. Gens Pierre

    In the 80s on television, Unsolved Mysteries was dabbling in the Satanic Panic, and now here’s the updated version: the modern moral panic of human trafficking.

    First, what that Trent Steele guy describes as “human trafficking without ever leaving your home” is not human trafficking at all. But law enforcement and non-profit like his, even if they have good intentions, have an interest in inflating the numbers and expanding the definition to increase their funding and keep the dollars coming.

    Heartbreaking story, I hope it gets a happy ending someday soon, but this kind of fearmongering doesn’t help anything. The mother’s testimony is heartbreaking, but sadly we have to listen to the other guy’s propaganda instead.


    • Rob G

      This is your takeaway from the episode? How heartless of a life you must be lead.

      Fear-mongering?? This was his opinion and he is in the business of helping families. I wish the best for the family and trust that law enforcement and groups like the one detailed in this episode are going to find success and joy here.


    • Missash

      I agree. I don’t doubt that she was targeted by a predator, but human traffickers? This is not how they operate. Hard to take Trent seriously as an expert with him pushing such a narrative


  3. Bill Blaski

    Heart breaking! Can they not tap into her social media accounts and find the person she was communicating with? Seems like they could subpoena that info from meta, or Twitter etc. should be able to see if she logs into her social media accounts.


    • cows23

      It says in the podcast that they can’t trace who she was talking to because it might have been on a texting app where they can’t trace it.


  4. Carina Garcia

    Texas counter trafficking initiative uses facial recognition. They found the little girl that was kidnapped from Mavs game.


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