Tennessee woman who disappeared during cross-country trip found safe in NorCal; boyfriend arrested

KABC logo
Thursday, June 1, 2023
TN woman who disappeared found in NorCal; boyfriend arrested
A couple who went missing while on a cross-country road trip to Orange County has been found safe, police confirmed Tuesday.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A couple who went missing while on a cross-country road trip to Orange County has been found safe, police confirmed Tuesday.

Nikki Alcaraz, 33, and her boyfriend, Tyler Stratton, were found in Eureka, California, according to police. This comes after Alcaraz was reportedly spotted at a Walmart store in Redding.

A photo was taken when she reportedly sold her phone at an EcoATM.

"The Redding Police Department learned Missing Person Nikki Alcaraz was contacted earlier today by the Eureka Police Department and found to be safe," said police in a statement. " ... Nikki is no longer considered a missing person."

Stratton was reportedly arrested, according to local reports, though details on the arrest weren't immediately available.

Alcaraz left her home in Tennessee earlier this month for a road trip in her black Jeep with Stratton and a dog.

They planned to travel to Orange County to visit her family, but three weeks ago, the 33-year-old mother disappeared in Moriarty, New Mexico.

Her family believed she was "100% in danger" when she was missing.

According to reports, there were signs of trouble when Alcaraz and Stratton reached New Mexico.

On May 4, a Torrance County Sheriff's Department report showed Alcaraz with a black eye. A witness said Stratton punched her in the face. The report says Stratton claimed he was also hit.

Neither one chose to press charges. They left the police station separately. Alcaraz was dropped off by police in Moriarty where she called her sister.

"Her eye was already turning black and you could tell she was beat up pretty bad," Toni Alcaraz said.

A family friend drove to New Mexico and met up with Alcaraz, hoping to bring her to California, but on the day they were supposed to leave, she told him she had to go back and find her boyfriend.

On May 9, Toni Alcaraz received a text from her sister saying she was in Arizona and planned to continue driving to California.

A license plate reader picked up Alcaraz's Jeep near Flagstaff, Arizona earlier this month, but police said her phone appears to be out of service.

Stratton has an unrelated arrest warrant out of Tennessee, tied to a theft charge.

This is a developing story. This article will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.