Police delve into past of Sherri Papini as search for her abductors continues


Authorities searching for two women who apparently abducted a Redding mother are delving into the victim’s past as they try to piece together details of the bizarre episode.

“We currently have no reason to disbelieve Sherri Papini’s story,” Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko told ABC News. “She was assaulted and had injuries, which she was treated for.”

The 34-year-old woman was found bound by restraints along Interstate 5 in Yolo County. Officials were called about 4:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day after Papini flagged down a motorist. The mother of two was treated for injuries and reunited with her husband, Keith.


Officials said they were not aware of a motive for the apparent kidnapping. Bosenko also said it was not clear whether Papini knew her abductors.

He told the Associated Press that “sensitive information” has not been publicly released and that the investigation is “critical and active.”

Before Papini was found, police had filed about 20 search warrants in court related to the investigation. Many were filed under seal, the Sacramento Bee reported. ABC reported that detectives were also looking through Papini’s computer records, investigating past relationships and seeking video surveillance camera footage that might offer clues.

Papini disappeared Nov. 2 while she was 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. Her story was shared on social media, and volunteer searches were launched.


The Redding Record-Searchlight quoted dispatch logs from the California Highway Patrol that said Papini was “heavily battered” and “chained to something.”

Allison Sutton, a witness who saw Papini on the side of the road on Thanksgiving morning, told ABC News that she saw a woman “frantically waving what looked like a shirt.”


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1:42 p.m.: This article was updated with new information about the investigation.

10:37 a.m.: This article was updated with a witness statement.

This story was first published at 8:30 a.m.