Sherri Papini was found alive on Thanksgiving morning, three weeks after her alleged abduction. Although the circumstances surrounding the 34-year-old mother’s disappearance and return are unusual, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said he has “no reason to disbelieve” the California woman’s story.
On the afternoon of November 2, Sherri left her Redding, California, home to go jogging along Old Oregon Trail and Sunrise Drive. When she was finished, she was expected to pick her two young children up from daycare and meet her husband Keith back at the house.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) November 29, 2016
As reported by People, Keith was stunned to return home from work and find his wife and children missing. Although both children were found safe at the daycare center, Sherri Papini seemingly vanished.
Initially, authorities were unsure whether the California mother was abducted or whether she left voluntarily. However, Keith was frightened for his wife’s safety.
According to reports, Keith used the “Find my iPhone” application to locate his wife’s cell phone — which was abandoned along her usual jogging route. In addition to the cell phone, he found Sherri’s earbuds and a few strands of hair.
Keith said he “knew something horrible had happened.” Unfortunately, his wife’s whereabouts remained unknown for more than three weeks.
https://t.co/FWTRf7UL6g I think the broad is a fruit loop and the abduction is a hoax….
— American Citizen (@Sevendays59) November 28, 2016
At approximately 4:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning Sherri Papini was found alive on a rural road in Yolo County, which is nearly 150 miles from her home. According to reports, the California mother was in restraints and appeared to be “heavily battered.”
Sherri was immediately transported to a local hospital and treated for several non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities confirmed she was reunited with her family later that same day.
In a written statement to Good Morning America, Keith said “nothing could have prepared [him]” for how badly his wife was beaten and abused by her abductors.
“My first sight was my wife in a hospital bed, her face covered in bruises… the bridge of her nose broken. Her now emaciated body of 87 pounds was covered in multi-colored bruises, severe burns, red rashes, and chain markings. Her signature long, blonde hair had been chopped off. She has been branded… “
During a police interview, Sherri Papini claimed she was abducted by two Hispanic women. Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said the women, who were reportedly driving a dark-colored SUV are “armed” and are “considered dangerous.”
Although Sherri Papini was found with obvious injuries, some people believe the California mother’s abduction was an elaborate hoax.
According to Heavy.com, an anonymous source, who is a friend of the Papini family, said Sherri “staged her own abduction in 2006.” However, the claim has not been verified at this time.
Sheriff Tom Bosenko said there is “no reason to disbelieve” Sherri’s version of events. However, he confirmed the investigation into the claims is ongoing.
In the weeks before Sherri Papini was found, authorities obtained approximately 20 search warrants. As reported by Los Angeles Times, detectives used those warrants to search the alleged victim’s “computer records” and “past relationships.” The warrants were also used to obtain video surveillance footage and other documents to assist in the investigation.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 29, 2016
Legal analyst Danny Cevallos said the circumstances surrounding Sherri’s abduction are unusual and that it “is a very, very rare case.” As reported by KTLA, Cevallos said detectives would certainly “have a lot of questions” for the alleged victim.
It is hoped that she will be able to provide a more accurate description of her alleged captors and the location where she was held.
Although Sherri Papini was found alive, the investigation into her alleged abduction is far from over. As the circumstances are specifically unusual, the debate as to whether her kidnapping was a hoax will likely continue until detectives have some more definitive answers.
[Featured Image by ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock]