Missing wife Nikki Alcaraz found safe, boyfriend arrested

Deduction warning: This article contains descriptions of domestic violence.

A Tennessee woman who was reported missing while traveling overland with her boyfriend was found unharmed and her boyfriend was arrested on independent charges.

There were concerns for her well-being amid reports of their mutually abusive relationship, with her disappearance initially evoking comparisons to the highly publicized disappearance and death of Gabby Petito.

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Nikki Alcaraz, 33, was missing for weeks – shortly before she was found on surveillance footage she was spotted selling a phone from an ATM in California, where she is said to be traveling with boyfriend Steven Stratton.

Three weeks earlier, a New Mexico police witness said he saw Stratton punch Alcaraz in the face, according to an incident report.

Alcarez told police that both she and Stratton had been drinking and that he “started hitting her for no reason” as they drove to California on May 4.

An officer who met the couple at a rest stop said he saw “red marks on her face and fingerprints on both arms” and wrote that Alcaraz “also stated that she had a bruise on her chest and back.” .

The officer later stated that “the bruising on Alcaraz’s arms was due to Stratton holding her to avoid being hit”.

Stratton told police Alcaraz “hit him in the mouth for no reason” and continued to hit him while driving.

Officers drove Alcaraz and Stratton away separately as neither wanted to press charges – although Alcaraz originally told police she did.

Nikki Alcaraz has been found safe after being reported missing while on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend. Credit: Cheatham County Attorney’s Office via NBC

Alcaraz’s family had been desperate to find her after she allegedly disappeared while traveling with Stratton.

Her sister Toni said Alcaraz called her after police dropped her off in Moriarty, New Mexico.

“She was crying and upset. Her eye was already turning black and you could tell she was pretty beat up,” Toni recalls.

Toni said a family friend went to New Mexico hoping to bring Alcaraz to California.

“That morning when they were supposed to leave, she told him she had to go back and find Tyler because she had a bad feeling, so he left without her,” Toni explained.

Alcaraz communicated with her sister via text message two days later, on May 8, telling her she was in Arizona and planning to complete the trip to California. Toni heard nothing more from her after that and filed a missing persons report.

Alcaraz was found safe

Alcaraz was spotted at a California Walmart on May 27, where she was reportedly selling her phone at an ATM.

Police responded, noting that Alcaraz and Stratton “were together and were at the scene.”

Officers got in touch with them later in the day and Alcaraz is said to have told Eureka Police that she did not require any assistance, according to the department

Stratton was taken into custody pending a warrant from Tennessee for failing to appear for a larceny felony.

“Alcaraz was provided with information through local resources and was released from the scene,” Eureka Police said.

Fear of Alcaraz’ disappearance was compounded by some uncanny resemblances to the high-profile man Gabby Petito case.

Petito, 22, from Florida, embarked on a cross-country trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, in July 2021.

They too had been stopped and interrogated by the police after an incident of domestic violence. The police released both but ordered them to spend a night apart.

More than two months later, Petito’s body was found in a national park in Wyoming.

Laundrie was found dead at a Florida wildlife sanctuary in October 2021, near a notebook in which he confessed to killing Petito.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, whether in the home or family Violencecall 1800RESPECT at 1800.737.732 or visit us 1800RESPECT.org.au.

In an emergency, call 000.

Advice and advice for men concerned about the use of their family Violence: Referral service for men1300 766 491.

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James Brien

James Brien is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: jamesbrien@24ssports.com.

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