Sherri Papini, the California mom who suddenly and mysteriously disappeared early last month, was found in dire condition on Thanksgiving. The 34-year-old mother of two young children was discovered beaten, branded, emaciated, and with a bag over her head in Yolo County.
“She was able to walk to a nearby church but nobody was there at 4:30 in the morning, and then she walked back and was able to flag down a motorist near Interstate 5 and Yolo County Road 17,” Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko, said. “There the motorist stopped and of course called 911.”
Sherri Papini weighed only 87 pounds when she was found about 150 miles from her home in Redding, People reports. She reportedly endured both mental and physical abuse while being held captive.
She had a “message branded into her skin,” the sheriff confirmed to ABC News. The words in the message have not yet been shared with the public.
“I would think that that was some sort of either an exertion of power and control and or maybe some type of message that the brand contained, “Sheriff Bosenko added. “It is not a symbol, but it was a message.”
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Sheriff Bosenko also said the California mom was transported to a hospital in Sacramento and treated for her numerous injuries. Papini was not admitted to the hospital but did undergo treatment there for several hours, according to the Shasta County law enforcement official.
Sherri Papini was abducted while she was out for a jog. Some have speculated a racially-charged online post about Latinos allegedly made by the young mother was the cause of her kidnapping. No motive for the bizarre abduction has yet been confirmed by police investigators.
The sheriff said the letter circulated on the internet was “pretty dated material.” As for now, Bosenko does not think the post is related to the crime and is currently unsure if Sherri Papini was even the author of the text.
“We don’t know what the motive or the reason for the abduction was, “the Shasta County law enforcement official added. “We don’t know if this was a targeted abduction or a random abduction or she was the specific target. We don’t have the reason as of yet of why she was abducted. We don’t have details on where she was being held during this period time.”
Papini has already spoken with the law enforcement officers investigating her disappearance but has so far only been able to relay limited information about what happened to her. The California mom did reportedly tell the officers it was two Hispanic women with a handgun who abducted her. The women were reportedly driving a dark-colored SUV. Only one of the women was present when Sherri was ushered out of the vehicle along the roadway.
“But keep in mind too she had been abducted,” Sheriff Bosenko added. “We don’t have any reason not to believe her. She was abducted held captive for three weeks and then released. Traumatized from the experience and then of course very emotional about being released and then being reunited with her husband.”
Bosenko is hopeful that, given some time to recover from the traumatic event, Sherri Papini will be able to recall more about the three weeks she was held captive.
Keith Papini, Sherri’s husband, said his wife was thrown from the vehicle driven by at least one of her kidnappers, with a chain tied around her waist and wrist. Her long blonde hair had also been drastically chopped off.
“My first sight was my wife in a hospital bed. Her face covered in bruises ranging from yellow to black because of her repeated beatings. The bridge of her nose broken,” Keith Papini said. “She has been branded and I could feel the rise of her scabs under my fingers.”
Sheriff Bosenko said it was wonderful Sherri Papini was found and been able to return to her family. He added a lot of questions still remain about the abduction of the California mom and noted the case remains a top priority for his department.
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