Bloodied woman 'yelling for help' in NJ semi-truck found; 'criminal activity' ruled out: police

Police released an image of the white tractor-trailer cab
Police released an image of the white tractor-trailer cab. Photo credit South Brunswick Police

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) -- Authorities in New Jersey said Friday that they ruled out any criminal activity after they located the woman who was seen bleeding and "yelling for help" from the cab of a white tractor-trailer on Thursday.

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The South Brunswick Police Department on Wednesday released video and an image of the truck after a witness spotted the woman around 2 p.m. as the truck was on Route 130 south, near the Dayton Toyota car dealership.

The witness told police that the woman was bleeding from her face and that a male truck driver pulled her back into the cab before the truck headed towards Ridge Road. That tip launched the extensive 26-hour search.

The witness told police that the woman was bleeding from her face and that a male truck driver pulled her back into the cab before the truck headed towards Ridge Road.

WNBC initially reported that the woman, who appeared to be injured, tried to escape out of a passenger-side window and was almost fully out of the cab before a man pulled her back inside.

In the end, police said they located the man, the woman and the tractor-trailer cab on Thursday at 5:10 p.m. A break in the case came after staff from Gabrielli Truck Sales — located on Route 130 near where the incident took place — recovered video, which allowed detectives to identify the truck as well as the woman.

Detectives searched locations in Middlesex and Union counties looking for the truck. Investigators later observed a man matching the witness description exiting the truck in question and approached him. Authorities also contacted the woman seen in the video at the same location.

Both the man and the woman agreed to come to police headquarters. Detectives spoke with both of them Thursday night.

Jim Ryan, the deputy chief of the South Brunswick Police Department, told NJ.com that the incident "appears to be a total accident."

Ryan said the man and woman are a married couple and in their 50s.

He said that the husband, who was driving, stopped short when a car merged in front of them. This caused the woman, who was standing between the cab and the sleeper, to fall forward and hit her head on a cupholder.

The deputy chief said she then began to bleed from her head and called for help.

Ryan added that her husband then pulled over to the shoulder of the road. When the husband saw her bleeding, he pulled her back into the truck and drove her to get medical help.

"He doesn't even realize that the witness that reports it is even there," Ryan said. "He wasn't even aware that anyone even saw the interaction between him and his wife."

Ryan said the woman got medical care and has a bandage on her head.

"We've ruled out any criminal activity," he added.

South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said in a statement Thursday night that it 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," he added.