People

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content
WATCH LIVE

PEOPLE and Twitter's Q&A with the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Cast! Learn More

Crime

5 Things to Know About the Case of Sherri Papini, California Mom Found After Vanishing 3 Weeks Ago

Posted on

In early November, California mother Sherri Papini mysteriously vanished after she left her Redding, California, home for a routine jog.

She wasn’t seen until Thanksgiving morning, when the 34-year-old mother was allegedly found chained, beaten but alive along a rural road.

As authorities search for her alleged captors, here are five things to know about the case:

1. She Was Allegedly Abducted Three Weeks Ago After Going for a Jog

Papini, a mother of two young children, was last seen around 2 p.m. on Nov. 2 when she went jogging. Her husband Keith reported her missing that evening after he returned home and couldn’t find Papini or their two children, whom Papini usually picks up from daycare, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said at a news conference. (The children were still at daycare and were unharmed, authorities have said.)

“I just want her back, and I want her back safe,” an emotional Keith told PEOPLE after Sherri went missing.

“Just bring her home,” he said. “Please bring her back. The sooner the better.”

2. She Was Found Along a Rural Road Early Thanksgiving Morning

At 4:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, Papini was found on the side of the road in rural Yolo County, about 150 miles from her home, and had been bound with restraints, Bosenko said at a press conference last Thursday.

Papini was also reportedly “chained to something” and was “heavily battered,” a radio dispatcher told a responding officer Thursday in an audio clip obtained by The Sacramento Bee.

After she was found, Bosenko said, “I am ecstatic to report that Sherri Papini has been located and has been reunited with her husband and her family on this day of Thanksgiving.”

He added that she was safe and was being treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Papini was able to summon help from a passing motorist, who notified police, Bosenko said.

Alison Sutton wrote on Facebook that she saw Papini along the road and called police. “I was certain you needed help,” Sutton wrote. 

Sherri Papini
GoFundMe

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

3. Police Are Still Searching for Suspects

Police are searching for two armed Hispanic women driving a dark colored SUV, Bosenko said at the press conference.

“We do not have any further description on the SUV or with the Hispanic females, that is information we got directly from Ms. Papini,” he said, adding, “These Hispanic females are armed, considered dangerous and they have a handgun, at least a handgun with them.”

4. Her Family is ‘Overjoyed’ to Have Her Back 

Papini’s sister, Sheila Koester, tells PEOPLE, “We are very, very overjoyed and just very excited to have her back home with her family.”

“I feel like it was a whole world effort, just with everyone posting on Facebook and the news coverage we got,” Koester says, adding, “It was an amazing Thanksgiving.”

Koester didn’t elaborate on her sister’s condition or what happened to her in the 22 days she was missing.

“Right now she is just being reunited with her family,” she tells PEOPLE. “They are taking their time.”

5. Authorities Say they Have ‘No Reason to Disbelieve’ Her Account

Since Papini’s abduction and discovery, online commenters have expressed doubt about the veracity of events, with some saying her kidnapping was a hoax.

But police believe Papini’s account.

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

Bosenko told the network that investigators are looking into Papini’s past, including her previous marriage and divorce along with any online activity.

Investigators put out 20 warrants for data including surveillance cameras and cell towers, ABC News reports. The camera footage, from locations in Yolo County and the city of Redding, include homes, business, a church, motels and traffic cameras.

• With reporting from CHRISTINE PELISEK