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

ByIrene Cruz KABC logo
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
TN woman who disappeared during trip found safe; boyfriend reportedly arrested
Tennessee woman Nikki Alcaraz who went missing during a cross-country road trip with boyfriend Tyler Stratton has been found safe, police said.

LOS ANGELES -- A woman who went missing while on a cross-country road trip to Orange County, California, with her boyfriend has been found safe, police said Tuesday evening.

Redding police said Nikki Alcaraz, 33, was contacted by the Eureka Police Department and "found to be safe." Redding police then contacted the Moriarty, New Mexico Police Department to confirm she is no longer considered a missing person.

No further details have been released.

Alcaraz's family had said they believed her to be in danger. She was believed to have been spotted at a Walmart over the weekend.

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

Alcaraz left her home in Tennessee 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.

"There's a lot of possibilities that I'm scared of after not hearing from her for three weeks now," said Toni Alcaraz, Nikki's sister.

There were signs of trouble when the couple 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.

A family is searching for answers after they say their loved one disappeared during a cross-country trip to SoCal with her boyfriend, who is also missing.

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 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 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 appeared to be out of service.

Stratton has an unrelated arrest warrant out of Tennessee, tied to a theft charge. He has not been seen since their interaction with Moriarty police.