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Missing mother’s earbuds, strands of hair found as desperate search in Northern California town continues

Earbuds with strands of hair were found at the site where a woman’s cellphone was discovered last week after she disappeared during a jog in Northern California, her sister said.

Detectives have been sorting through about 150 tips from the public regarding the hunt for Sherri Papini, a 34-year-old mother of two who vanished Wednesday north of Redding, according to Capt. John Hubbard of the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators also are reviewing surveillance videos gathered from homes and businesses in the area where she was last seen.

Sherri Papini, a mother of two, has been returned to her family in Northern California.
Sherri Papini, a mother of two, was reported missing from Northern California in early November and was found three weeks later.
(Shasta County Sheriff’s Office)

Papini went for a jog and walk alone about 2 p.m. on Sunset Drive in Mountain Gate and had texted her husband, Keith Papini, that day, authorities said. He returned home from work to find his wife and their children were not inside.

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He later discovered his wife hadn’t picked up their two children from daycare as she usually did.

Keith Papini then went searching for his wife.

He pulled the “Find my iPhone” mobile app, which led him to Old Oregon Trail and Sunrise Drive. There, he found his wife’s cellphone and earbuds with strands of hair attached to them, Sherri Papini’s sister, Sheila Koester, said.

Keith Papini called authorities to help in the search for his missing wife. He told KRCR-TV he thinks his wife was abducted and pleaded for her safe return.

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“Bring her home,” Keith Papini told the news station.

It’s been nearly a week since Sherri Papini disappeared.

The woman’s family as well as townspeople have been desperately searching for her, her sister said. A $50,000 reward has been offered for her return.

“Everyone in town is,” Koester told The Times. “If they are not handing out fliers, they are posting up fliers.”

During the intense search, detectives have used police dogs and have contacted convicted sex offenders. As investigators work to track Papini’s whereabouts, sheriff’s officials said they also are using additional resources from the Redding Police Department and U.S. Department of Justice.

Anyone with details about the missing mother is urged to call the sheriff’s office at (530) 245-6540 or the Major Crimes Unit (530) 245-6135. Tips also can be submitted at mcu@co.shasta.ca.us.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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