Authorities Release Suspect Sketches in Alleged Sherri Papini Abduction and Reveal She Was Not Sexually Assaulted
The FBI released sketches Wednesday of two women described by Sherri Papini as her alleged abductors.
Papini, 35, a California mom, was allegedly kidnapped last Nov. 2 while jogging near her Redding home and found 22 days later along the side of a rural road on Thanksgiving Day. The mysterious case captivated the nation and spawned numerous theories about what happened.
Some time after her alleged abduction, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office said an FBI sketch artist met with Papini and created a sketch of each female suspect, one described by Papini as in her 20s or 30s and another as being between 40 and 50.
“It has taken time for Sherri to recover to a point to be able to provide accurate details to the sketch artist,” a sheriff’s office press release obtained by PEOPLE states.
The younger woman in the sketch is described as being 5 feet 5 inches, with a medium build with coarse, curly dark hair, thin eyebrows and pierced ears. The second suspect is approximately 5 feet 7 inches, and has straight black hair with some gray in it and thick eyebrows.
Papini also described the suspects’ vehicle as a dark colored SUV with a large rear side window.
“Sherri continues to look at photographs of various makes and models of SUVs in an effort to provide a more detailed description,” the release states.
The FBI is also offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to their identification.
The sheriff’s office said they received over 600 tips from around the world and collected two DNA profiles from Papini. The DNA from her husband, Keith, was not among the two profiles, the release states.
Papini vanished while out for a jog on Nov. 2. Neighbors had seen Papini running around 11 a.m., but there were no other witnesses. Keith Papini said he came home and discovered his wife missing. He later found her phone with earbuds still attached and strands of blond hair near a local jogging trail.
“She is my wife, and I know everything about her,” Keith told PEOPLE a little over a week after her disappearance. “I know that my wife would never leave me and never in a million years leave our kids.”
A week after Sherri vanished, Keith volunteered to take a polygraph test, which he passed. Investigators confirmed in the release where Keith was the day Papini disappeared and said there was no physical evidence to suggest his involvement.
The sheriff’s office said during Papini’s disappearance they looked into whether her disappearance was “voluntary or involuntary” and served over 20 search warrants to determine her whereabouts. The search warrants remain sealed by order of the Shasta County Superior Court.
Papini Had Plans to Meet with Male Acquaintance Prior to Disappearance
In the release, the sheriff’s office said investigators discovered Papini had been texting with an unidentified male acquaintance from Michigan.
“Days prior to Sherri’s disappearance, Sherri and the male acquaintance texted each in an attempt to meet while he was in California,” the release states. “Sheriff’s Office detectives interviewed him in Michigan and determined he was not involved in Sherri’s disappearance.”
Around 4:30 on Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 24, a motorist spotted a woman frantically waving on the side of the road of a rural Yolo County road — about 150 miles south of her Redding home. Papini told investigators a young Hispanic woman dropped her off.
Keith Papini said his wife was covered in bruises — ranging from yellow to black — because of repeated beatings. The bridge of her nose was broken and her long blond hair was chopped off.
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Papini told police she was abducted at gunpoint and held captive by two armed Hispanic females who spoke Spanish the majority of the time.
No Evidence of Sexual Assault
The sheriff’s office said in their new release that Papini had a brand on her right shoulder. She told investigators that she had not been sexually assaulted, and “there is no physical evidence to indicate otherwise,” the new release states.
Detectives said they interviewed Papini at the hospital, and at the time she gave them “limited details” about the kidnapping and a “limited description” of the two women who allegedly abducted her.
According to the release, Papini stated that the suspects “made efforts to conceal their identities with face coverings.”
The sheriff’s office says that are still working the case and that the Papinis remain in contact with authorities.
“Sherri, continues to provide details as she can recall them, but has not been able to provide a complete detailed statement due to her poor recollection,” the release states.
If you recognize these two individuals or have any other information regarding Papini’s whereabouts during this time, please contact the Sacramento Office of the FBI at (916) 746-7000 (press 1 to file a report) or tips.fbi.gov.