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Manhunt over bloodied, screaming woman in NJ sparked by misunderstanding

A nationwide manhunt over a bloody, thought-to-be-abducted woman in New Jersey was sparked by an accident and a bizarre misunderstanding, police told The Post Friday.

The unnamed woman — who was spotted screaming and bleeding inside a tractor-trailer on Route 130 Wednesday — was hurt when her husband hit the brakes to avoid an accident, South Brunswick Police Deputy Chief Jim Ryan said.

The woman, who was standing between the cab and the sleeper of the rig,  flew forward and was left bleeding and screaming, he said.

But a worker from a nearby car rental company who did not see the big rig stop short, saw the woman bleeding and thought he might be witnessing a kidnapping and called police, Ryan said.

“He’s standing in a parking lot and he hears someone yell ‘help,’” said Ryan, adding the witness called police. 

The mix-up triggered a multi-agency search for the truck and, after media reported the incident, at least 100 calls about possible sightings from Texas to California, Ryan said.

According to police, the nationwide manhunt for a though-to-be-abducted woman in New Jersey was due to a misunderstanding.
South Brunswick Police Department

Police used surveillance footage, including from local businesses, along with tips to track down the 50-something married couple and determine there was no foul play Thursday, Ryan said.

“It’s amazing what people can do if they mobilize,” he said. “I’m glad the outcome was positive.”

Despite the weird mix up, he said the witness ultimately did the right thing by reporting the woman in distress.

“He actually saw it accurately, and made some great observations,” Ryan said.

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