Tennessee woman found in California after violent cross-country road trip caught on cam: Police Reports

Tennessee woman found in California
(Torrance County Attorneys Office)

Police in California announced on Tuesday the search for a woman who went missing earlier this month while traveling cross-country with her boyfriend from Tennessee. “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.

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 Redding Police Department would like to thank our allied agency partners who assisted with efforts to locate Nikki. Photographs from the original post have been removed out of respect for the involved,” police said.

Earlier in the day, New Mexico deputies released bloody images, bodycam video, and 911 audio from a domestic violence call involving a road-tripping Nashville couple, as police across the country searched for the lady who had been missing for weeks.

Nikki Alcaraz and her boyfriend Steven Tyler Stratton were stopped on their way from Tennessee to California on May 4 in Torrance County, New Mexico.

She was later reported missing, but authorities say she was found alive over the weekend in a Walmart in Northern California. The bodycam footage, however, painted a complicated picture of the days leading up to her disappearance.

“There was an altercation between me and my girlfriend,” Stratton can be heard telling an EMT when she arrives for treatment and asks him what happened. He later informs her that he has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

A witness informed a Torrance County deputy that he saw Stratton hit Alcaraz in the face on the side of Interstate 40 on May 4, according to the incident report. After dispatch received a call from a screaming woman who abruptly stopped answering, authorities were already on their way to the location.

The reporting witness, a truck driver, informed a responding officer that after seeing what he noticed, he pulled over and prepared to fight Stratton.

“So I was, I was driving, I seen her sitting on the ground and the dude f—ing cock back and either slap her or punch her, and I got family, I got sisters and stuff, I would never, you know?” he tells the officer. “So I pulled over, I was ready to fight him, really, but he was calm.”

According to the footage, Alcaraz had bruises and red marks on her skin and first told the deputy that she wanted to follow charges. When the deputy approached Stratton a few minutes later, his face was covered in blood.

“I don’t know what happened,” the trucker later told the deputy as they discussed the possibility that the two had been mutual combatants. “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.”

“I think she was probably defending herself at one point,” he added. When the deputy approached, Stratton was sitting on the pavement, smoking a cigarette and without wearing shoes. Stratton was cuffed and a knife was taken from his front right pocket by the deputy.

Deputies found the two to be “mutual combatants” after reportedly pummeling one other while driving down the highway, and there was blood flowing down the side of the car.

At one point, the deputy presses Stratton on whether Alcaraz was the aggressor. The cuffed man insists on not changing his story or filing charges. “We’re having issues because there’s a lot of other stuff going on,” Stratton tells the deputy. “Mental issues with her.”

The deputy asks if she has been diagnosed with anything, and he says he’s not sure. “I haven’t ever seen Nikki act like this before,” Stratton says. “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.”

According to the incident report, both of them looked to have been drinking, although they both denied being behind the wheel. Police eventually split them, seized the car, and dropped all charges.

The witness made one final observation to the deputy before leaving. “She seems like a sweet girl,” he said. “She’s definitely a little rough around the edges, but nobody deserves that.”

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