Missing Shasta County woman is found safe after three weeks

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A Northern California woman missing for three weeks was released by her captors and found — bound by restraints — along Interstate 5 in Yolo County on Thanksgiving morning, authorities said.

Officials were called about 4:30 a.m. after Sherri Papini, 34, was able to flag down a motorist.

The mother of two was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and reunited with her husband, Keith.


“He is overjoyed with this successful outcome,” Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said.

Officials said they were searching for two Latina women in connection with the abduction. They were last seen driving a dark SUV and were believed to be armed with a handgun.

“This investigation is far from over,” Bosenko said.

Officials said they were not aware of a motive for the kidnapping and did not provide details on Papini’s injuries or whereabouts. Bosenko also said it was not clear if Papini knew her abductors.

The Redding resident disappeared Nov. 2 while out for a jog in the small town of Mountain Gate in Shasta County.

Her husband reported her missing after he came home from work and found that she hadn’t picked up their children from daycare. Her cellphone and headphones were found near where she had last been seen, about a mile from her home, investigators said.

Her disappearance made national news, and the community launched an aggressive manhunt to find her. They shared her story on social media and launched volunteer searches.


A private group working with Papini’s family released a video Wednesday offering $100,000 to anyone with information leading to her safe return, according to NBC affiliate KNVN.

Bosenko said police had received more than 400 tips in the case, but Papini’s release was not a result of the reward money.

“It shows what a community can do when it works together to get the word out,” he said.



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3:30 p.m.: This article was updated with information about Sherri Papini’s abduction.

This article was originally published at 12:25 p.m.