When Nevadan Gabrielle “Britney” Ujlaky suddenly disappeared from the face of this Earth on March 8, 2020, it honestly left not just her loved ones but also the entire nation shaken to its very core. That’s because, as carefully explored in NBC’s ‘Dateline: Open Desert,’ it soon came to light this charming 16-year-old had actually been raped and strangled before her throat was slashed wide open. Yet for now, if you simply wish to learn more about the two individuals to have fought to attain her justice every step of the way — her kind, devoted parents — we’ve got the necessary details for you.
Who Are Britney Ujlaky’s Parents?
Since Britney was born on June 4, 2003, as the middle child plus only daughter to Alisha Tolhurst and James Ujlaky, she reportedly grew up completely surrounded by love, care, as well as passion. It thus comes as no surprise her vanishing affected them all in a way we can never even imagine, especially her father because he was arguably the last one to see her alive (apart from the killer). James still vividly remembers the last time they ever hung out – she’d accompanied him to his band’s rehearsal on March 8 itself before leaving early alongside long-term friend Bryce Dickey.
But alas, Britney never made it home, and it drove James to text/call her repeatedly because it was so uncharacteristic, only to receive no response — her phone would go straight to voicemail following a single ring. That’s when he frantically contacted her mother, Alisha, who has always described her teen daughter as a “bright, beautiful light” in the lives of many, sparking an intense search for the youngster. It was a pure nightmare for the duo: while the patriarch has since stated in the episode he couldn’t track her or find out anything, her mother said, “Your heart literally drops to your feet. You go numb. You can’t breathe.”
What’s worse is that as Alisha and James were fearing the worst, they got a $10,000 ransom note suggesting their girl had been kidnapped, which the latter didn’t believe at all — “My eyes rolled in the back of my head.” In fact, he soon went out trying to find Britney’s body because he knew something terrible must have happened for her not to return: he admittedly looked up at the sky a lot for birds since remains would’ve attracted them. Yet, he came up empty-handed and even believed Bryce’s tale of him having dropped off the teen at her high school to allow her to meet a new friend, that is, until her partially clothed body was found on March 11 beside a used condom carrying both their DNAs.
Where Are Britney Ujlaky’s Parents Now?
While James actually testified during Bryce’s 2022 trial, Alisha gave a victim impact statement just prior to his sentencing to reiterate the way his actions were needlessly heinous, hurtful, and heartbreaking. However, it was primarily directed at the judge because she wanted to ensure he got the maximum possible penalty so that her family doesn’t have to go through parole hearings too. “[During this trial, we’ve seen] things no parent should ever have to see,” she said. “Hearing things you should never have to hear… I am pleading with you not to make me face this monster again in my lifetime for ridiculous parole hearings. Please, please allow my family a real shot at healing instead of having wounds ripped wide open again… keep him behind bars where he belongs.”
Therefore, in the end, Bryce ended up with consecutive life behind bars with the possibility of parole sentences, which totaled to him being eligible for release only after 70 long years. Hence, today, it appears as if Alisha and James are doing their best to heal as well as move on from the past while keeping the memories of their lost daughter close to their hearts. They may have long been separated, but they’re great co-parents, so they’re seemingly doing so by focusing on their remaining two children, their respective partners, and professional experiences in Elko County, Nevada.
Read More: Where is Bryce Dickey Now?