Nikki Alcaraz, the Tennessee mom who disappeared while on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend earlier this month, was found safe, officials announced — as new bodycam footage was released showing the aftermath of an alleged domestic assault involving her partner.
Redding Police in California announced that the mother of two was “found to be safe” and “is no longer considered a missing person” after another police department was able to make contact with her Tuesday.
Alcaraz, 33, vanished sometime around May 9 while driving with her longtime boyfriend Steven Tyler Stratton and their dog from Nashville to California to visit her uncle.
Just five days before she went missing, Alcaraz and Stratton were involved in a physical dispute on the side of Interstate 40 in Torrance County, New Mexico which led to police being called.
New body cam footage of the May 4 interaction obtained by Fox News 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.
“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,” the truck driver identified as Jordan Hamilton told the deputy, according to the video. “…So I pulled over, I was ready to fight him really, but he was calm.”
He said he got in between the couple instead and asked Alcaraz, who was in tears, if she was OK and she asked him to dial 911.
A visibly shaken Alcaraz told the deputy that Stratton is her boyfriend of 16 years and said she wanted to press charges before asking him for a lighter to smoke.
“I’m done. I’m over it. I want his a– f–king put in jail. I’m over it,” she said.
She had bruises and red marks on her skin and Stratton’s face and nose had dried blood on it, according to the footage and incident report.
“There was an altercation between me and my girlfriend,” Stratton told an EMT at the scene, according to the footage.
He told the deputy that they were having “issues because there’s a lot of other stuff going on” including “mental issues with her,” he said.
“I haven’t ever seen Nikki act like this before,” Stratton said. “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.”
Both Alcaraz and Stratton said the other hit them unprovoked, according to the incident report.
The couple appeared to have been drinking and the mom told officers they had picked up a bottle of fireball whiskey to drink, according to the incident report.
Deputies “determined that both parties were mutual combatants while traveling down the interstate,” the incident report states.
However, the trucker said he believed Alcaraz was only defending herself.
“I don’t know what happened,” Hamilton told the deputy. “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.”
Hamilton, an Army veteran who drives tractor-trailers from Georgia to California, told the Daily Beast that he had nightmares about the alleged attack in the following days.
“It messed me up for days afterward,” he told the outlet. “Like, it f–ked me up. It was violent.”
He said that Alcaraz’s face was “lumpy and very bruised up.”
“That dude beat the brakes off of that girl,” Hamilton said to the publication, adding that he “was ready to go smash this guy’s teeth in” after seeing Stratton allegedly hit her.
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.
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,” according to the local outlet KNRN-TV.
“Her eye was already turning black and you could tell she was beat up pretty bad,” Toni said to the station.
She last spoke to her sister via text on May 8 and soon reported her missing.
Alcaraz was spotted at a California Walmart on May 27 where she sold her phone at a kiosk and officials said they have no information to indicate she is in immediate danger.
The Torrance County Sheriff is investigating the actions of the deputies who responded to the domestic call to determine if they violated any policies by letting the couple go, Sheriff David Frazee told the Daily Beast Tuesday.
He also told the outlet that Alcaraz was still in the company of Stratton when she was located by authorities.
Hamilton said what he witnessed that day shocked him.
“I never seen a girl so beat up like that, ever,” he told The Daily Beast. “… 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.”
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