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Woman Says She Saw Sherri Papini on Roadside After She Was Freed: I Was ‘Certain You Needed Help’

Updated

Courtesy Shasta County Sheriff's Office

A California woman shared on Facebook early this morning how she saw missing mom Sherri Papini on a roadside and called police before she was rescued at 4:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving.

On a Facebook page created to help find the 34-year-old mother of two, who mysteriously vanished while jogging three weeks ago, Alison Sutton wrote:

“I couldn’t stop in time to help you this morning but I did pull over and report to police that I saw you by the road and was certain you needed help. I am thankful that someone else was able to pull over safely to help you and that you are safe. God bless you and your family.”

Rod Rodriguez III, Sherri’s father-in-law responded: “Thank you very much for alerting the police. We greatly appreciate your assistance.”

“I don’t know that my call helped her,” Sutton wrote back,  “but I am very thankful she is safe and back with her family. This is truly a Thanksgiving to remember.”

 

Sherri Papini Facebook

Trudy Nickens, the founder of Nor-Cal Alliance for the Missing, helped organize a massive four-day search in the days after Papini disappeared.

“It’s miraculous that she has been returned,” Nickens tells PEOPLE. “We are feeling victory, for a missing person’s organization, anytime someone is found it is a joyous thing, we are beside ourselves. It’s just wow. She’s okay, she’s with her family.”

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko told Good Morning America on Friday that Papini was “very emotional” when she was found.

“The California Highway Patrol was able to connect her to her husband via cellphone, and he immediately started responding …of course, she was very emotional to be released and hear her husband’s voice and then, a few hours later, to be reunited with him,” Bosenko said.

Papini was found bound on the side of the road in a tiny town near Sacramento at 4:30 a.m. Thursday – about 150 miles from her home.

PEOPLE has not been able to reach Sutton or Rodriguez for comment. A message left for the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office was not returned.

Now police are hunting for two women in an SUV, who authorities say are armed and dangerous, after Papini indicated they played a role in her kidnapping, police say.

Courtesy Keith Papini

“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,” Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said Thursday.

A passing motorist discovered Papini bound on the side of a rural road near the tiny town of Yolo, about 25 miles northeast of Sacramento – and a two hour drive from the place she vanished, Bosenko said.

“She was bound with restraints but was able to summon help by a passing motorist who then notified law enforcement. This was near County Road 17 near I-5,” he said.

Papini, described by her husband Keith as a “supermom,” disappeared on Nov. 2 while jogging in a park in her tiny hometown of Mountain Gate.

Authorities and her family said they immediately feared foul play because she failed to pick up her young daughter and son from daycare.