New Jersey police says that a tip of a bloodied woman calling for help inside a semi-truck was a big misunderstanding.
Following a 26-hour search, authorities in South Brunswick in Middlesex County were able to locate the woman who had reportedly been seen in distress on Route 130 near the Dayton Toyota dealership, News12 first reported.
On Wednesday afternoon, police received a tip they characterized as a “possible domestic dispute.” A witness reportedly saw a Hispanic woman in her 20s covered in blood and screaming for help as she tried to escape from an older white man before being pulled back inside the truck.
Police released video of the witness walking toward the vehicle before it sped off prompting a massive search to find the woman and her alleged abuser.
On Thursday, South Brunswick police said that the couple involved in the incident is married and that the woman was injured while she was standing inside the truck. She apparently fell and hit her head when her husband took a tight turn. The couple stepped outside of the vehicle for a moment, before he pulled her back inside and rushed to a Rite Aid to get bandages, police said.
Authorities said that the witness misunderstood what he had seen after the couple was interrogated. He was visiting a car dealership at the time when he saw the vehicle pull over as the woman tried to jump from the truck, according to NBC.
Detective Sergeant Timothy Hoover of the South Brunswick Police Department told NBC that the witness “noticed that something’s a little off that catches his eye. Then he noticed, on closer investigation, that a woman tries to hop out of the Bobtail truck”.
“And he’s looking at her and believes that she’s injured, possibly some kind of laceration on her forehead or in the area of her face. And she appears to be in distress”, Sgt Hoover added.
South Brunswick police said in a statement that detectives received tips from across the country after releasing video and images of the incident.
Investigators obtained video from a truck shop near where the incident took place and were able to track down the couple in the Iselin section of Woodbridge, News12 reported.
“Detectives observed a male matching the witness description exit the truck in question and approached him. Detectives also contacted the woman seen in the video at the same location. Both the man and woman agreed to come to police headquarters,” the statement by police read.
After the situation was explained by the couple, police thanked the community for their efforts to locate the woman.
“This was a great team effort, from the community providing tips to detectives tracking down leads. It was an exhaustive 26 hours, but we were able to locate the woman and make sure she was safe,” Chief Raymond Hayducka said.
“This case exemplifies the power of so many coming together. I want to thank the witness who first reported the incident, the dozen of tips, and Gabrielli Truck Sales staff for getting involved to find this woman.”