Police in California have reportedly found a woman who went missing earlier this month while on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend.
“On May 30, 2023, at around 4:30 P.M., the Redding Police Department learned Missing Person Nikki Alcaraz was contacted earlier today by the Eureka Police Department and found to be safe,” according to a statement from the authorities.
“The Redding Police Department has been in contact with the Moriarty, New Mexico Police Department and confirmed Nikki is no longer considered a missing person,” the statement continues.
Nikki Alcaraz has made contact with her family.
Working to learn more.
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) May 30, 2023
Meanwhile, her boyfriend, Tyler Stratton, was arrested, as reported by local station KABC.
According to the New York Post, Alcaraz went missing around May 9th while on a road trip from Nashville, Tennessee to Orange County, California. She went missing five days after she and her boyfriend were involved in a domestic dispute on the side of the road in New Mexico.
Newly released body cam footage of the May 4th confrontation “shows an emotional Alcaraz and a concerned truck driver — who phoned 911 after he allegedly witnessed Stratton punch her — speaking to a sheriff deputy on the scene,” the Post notes.
“As I was driving, I seen her sitting on the ground and the dude f–king cock back and either slap her or punch her. So I pulled over. I was ready to fight him really, but he was calm,” the truck driver, Jordan Hamilton, told the deputy.
“I’m done, I’m over it. I want his ass in jail”
— ︎ ♡ (@NerdBirdMafia) May 30, 2023
Hamilton told the authorities that he got in between the two and then asked a crying Alcaraz if she was OK. She in turn asked that he call 911. When the authorities arrived, Alcaraz reportedly told them that she wanted to press charges against Stratton, her boyfriend of reportedly 16 years.
“I’m done. I’m over it. I want his ass f–king put in jail. I’m over it,” she said.
Stratton claimed that she’d hit him first.
“I haven’t ever seen Nikki act like this before. I don’t want to get her in trouble or anything, but she’s been blacking out off of like one or two beers and hitting me for the past two months,” he said.
The authorities ultimately “determined that both parties were mutual combatants while traveling down the interstate,” according to an incident report.
But the trucker maintained that he was positive Alcaraz had simply been defending herself.
“I don’t know what happened. But just her being on the floor, and him f—ing hitting her while she was down, I don’t think she’s the aggressor,” he said.
Watch the full bodycam footage below:
Hamilton, the truck driver, later doubled down while speaking with The Daily Beast, telling that he’d “had nightmares about” the confrontation.
“It messed me up for days afterward. Like, it f–ked me up. It was violent. … That dude beat the brakes off of that girl,” he said. adding that Alcaraz’s face was “lumpy and very bruised up.”
“I never seen a girl so beat up like that, ever. One of the reasons it hit home for me is because a couple of my family members went through abusive relationships… I just hope she turns out to be OK. I’ve never seen a woman’s face so bruised up like that. Nobody deserves to be treated like that,” he continued.
“The couple ultimately decided against pressing charges against one another and authorities separated them by dropping them off to different places. Alcaraz’s jeep which the couple had been driving across the country was impounded,” according to the Post
“She picked up her vehicle from the impound lot with a man who was not Stratton the next day and on May 6, she called her sister Toni Alcaraz ‘crying and upset,'” the Post notes, quoting from local media.
“Her eye was already turning black and you could tell she was beat up pretty bad,” Toni, her sister, told local media.
Alcaraz reportedly last spoke with her sister on the 8th. Soon after, her sister reported her missing. Alcaraz was next spotted at a California Walmart on May 27th, where she reportedly sold her phone at a kiosk.
Many have compared this situation to that of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old who went missing in the summer of 2021 while on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie. She was later found dead, and it was discovered that Laundrie had strangled her to death. He then committed suicide before the authorities could catch him.
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