Search for missing Troy woman continues, stepfather in custody

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Divers returned to the Hudson River in Troy hoping to find some answers in the case of missing Noel Alkaramla.

The search of the icy water began on Friday just as the missing 21-year-old’s stepfather was arrested on a parole violation. Alkaramla’s girlfriend Sara Moore watched the divers enter the water for a fourth day. Moore has started to believe the worst: that her girlfriend is in the waters.

“Everything, all the tips, are leading to this,” she said.

Moore believes all the tips lead to Alkaramla’s stepfather, Johnny Oquendo.

Johnny Oquendo (DOCCS)
Johnny Oquendo mug shot from 2014 (DOCCS)

Around 9 p.m. on Sunday, November 22, Alkaramla got off work at Verdile’s Restaurant in Lansingburgh. She received a ride from a coworker who dropped her off at Oquendo’s apartment in South Troy.

Moore showed NEWS10 ABC reporter Anya Tucker a text from that night. It said Oquendo wanted to meet with Alkaramla to perhaps talk about getting back together with her mother.

When Alkaramla didn’t come home, Moore said she called Oquendo.

“I called him to see if Noel was there,” she said. “He kept telling me he was sleeping. Well, if you’re sleeping, why are you answering your phone?”

The next morning, items from Alkaramla’s purse were found scattered about three blocks away from her home.

Oquendo has spent the past 18 years in and out of prison and jail on convictions of robbery and assault. He was arrested again on Friday on a parole violation.

Police won’t say if the search of the Hudson and his arrest are linked, but sources close to the investigation said what was captured on security cameras in Riverfront Park have something to do with the search.

Divers will return to the water at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

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