What to Know
- Police responded to a Wednesday report of a woman seen screaming from a white semi-truck cab in South Brunswick, New Jersey; a full-scale investigation was launched and quickly intensified
- Federal and state authorities got involved as well. The woman, man and truck were all safely recovered Thursday, but with officials sharing few details initially, that did little to resolve questions about what had happened
- Now, it turns out, the whole thing was a misunderstanding, a source says. Here's what really went down
It was an alarming report -- a bloodied woman was seen screaming inside the cab of a white semi-truck near a car dealership in New Jersey on Wednesday afternoon. It was captured on camera. A man was behind the wheel.
A full-scale investigation launched and intensified, with federal and state authorities joining local investigators in the hunt for the screaming woman and the man in the truck. After a 26-hour manhunt, the woman, man and truck were safely recovered.
Few other details were released at the time of that development, leading to even more confused speculation about what transpired. On Friday, a law enforcement source directly familiar with the case explained what really happened -- and as is the case in many cases that seem not to make sense, this apparent emergency stemmed from a huge misunderstanding.
The man and woman knew each other, investigators had learned, and tips from the community helped police track the pair down. Those tips came in from as far away as California, officials said -- and cops found the two after they stopped at a truck rental company near where the surveillance video of the woman screaming was captured.
Ultimately, they got the pair down to a police station, where the two explained that yes, the woman was, in fact, bloody and screaming, but not for a nefarious reason, the law enforcement source said.
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She had been standing in the back of the truck cab at one point when it moved. She fell and hit her head, the police source said. The truck jerked to a stop and the woman yelled for help -- and the part of the video where it looked like the man was yanking her back inside was actually him pulling her back in to take her to a hospital, the official said.
Rather than go to an emergency room they ended up going to a spot where they had friends and applied pressure to stop the bleeding.
According to the police source, the two never had any idea they were the subject of a sprawling investigation and they were able to confirm the story of what happened through texts and photos sent by phone.