The family of Sherri Papini, the 34-year-old mother of two who disappeared on November 2 in Redding, California, while jogging, has spoken out about their feelings about her rescue and some details that may help police narrow the search for her abductors.
The blonde wife and mother was out on a typical route for her jog and was reported missing by her husband when he arrived home from work and could not find her. Her children were still at daycare where she had left them before her jog, and her cellphone and headphones were found near where she had last been seen, about a mile from her home. Family immediately deemed the situation out of character and referred to Papini as “Super Mom” who was dedicated to her children and would never have willingly left them. She was found alive on Thanksgiving by a road with minor injuries, according to Yahoo News. Her sister, Sheila Koester, spoke to the press on behalf of Sherri and Keith Papini.
“We are overwhelmed with joy at how supportive everyone has been in bringing our family together at this time. Everyone’s tireless efforts [have] made our family whole again this Thanksgiving. Thank you for allowing our family time to heal and for giving us our privacy. Your help in keeping this alive through social media and national news was an intricate part in bringing her home to us. We cannot thank you enough.”
While many of the details regarding the abduction and Sherri’s whereabouts for the past three weeks remain a mystery, reports indicated that she was not seriously injured, although she was taken to a hospital and released after she was discovered by the side of the road on November 24.
Sheriff Tom Bosenko spoke at a news conference yesterday with the news that Sherri had been found alive and that she was in good condition despite her harrowing ordeal. Bosenko indicated that Sherri had been released early on Thanksgiving morning by her captor or captors on a rural, infrequently traveled road in Yolo County, about 150 miles from her home, where she was abducted.
“She was bound with restraints but was able to summon help from a passing motorist. We are looking for a dark-colored SUV with two Hispanic females armed with a handgun.”
Sherri was immediately taken to the emergency room with non-threatening injuries and was released to her family. While she was initially interviewed by the police, Bosenko said that they were allowing her time with her family to relax and “decompress” before beginning again with any interviews about her abduction.
As of the time of this writing, there are no known motives for the abduction or release of Sherri Papini, and it has not been stated if she was sexually assaulted. No other details on what happened to her during her captivity were released as well. Police said they plan to widen their search and investigation now that they will be able to gather information from Papini herself.
Bosenko spoke to Good Morning America, according to MSN, in which he described Papini as “very emotional.”
“Obviously she was emotional and quite upset, but elated to be freed, and so we were able to get some information from her. Then in the days following this, we will be following up with her. This investigation is far from over.”
Although a private group working with the Papinis had offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who gave information leading to her safe return, the reward money was not what led to her release, according to police. Police also indicated that they had received more than 400 tips from people in relation to the case, but did not elaborate if any were founded. Bosenko praised the community for their help in searching for Papini.
“It shows what a community can do when it works together to get the word out.”
[Featured Image by Shasta County Sheriff’s Office]