Missing 'Super Mom' Sherri Papini Found Alive: What We Know About the Mystery

Sherri Papini
Shasta County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

If you've been following this missing persons case of "super mom" Sherri Papini as closely as I have, then you, too, were overjoyed on Thanksgiving morning to hear that she was found alive. Papini went missing on November 2 while jogging near her Redding-area home in California. Perhaps I've been watching this case obsessively because Papini is a mom of two (like me), is named Sherri (like me), lives in Northern California (like me), and disappeared the day before my birthday. That aside, this case has had the authorities, the city and state, and even the nation baffled, freaked out, and, well, completely mesmerized. 


Here's what we know about the case right now:

1. Sherri Papini, 34, was reported missing by her husband Keith Papini on Wednesday, November 2, when she did not show to pick up their kids at daycare. Law enforcement launched an investigation and even looked closely into her husband but ultimately verified he was at work at the time of her disappearance -- and he also passed a polygraph test

2. According to the Thursday, November 24 press conference with Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko, in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving morning -- and three weeks (almost to the day) after her disappearance -- Sherri Papini was found alive. She was treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and reunited with her husband. 

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3. Papini was located about 150 miles south of her home, on a rural road off Interstate 5 in Northern Yolo County. A passing car spotted her in the dark and called 911. California Highway Patrol recordings report Papini was "heavily battered" and that they were dealing with a "confirmed kidnapping."

Here's a partial transcript of radio traffic between a dispatcher and Yolo sheriff’s deputies.

4. The Shasta County Sheriff's Office also reported Papini was "released by her captor" (yes, he used a singular here) and "was bound with restraints." 

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5. Now that Papini is safe at home, the investigation remains active and in full swing, as law enforcement continue to search for leads and answers about her captors. In his press conference, Sheriff Bosenko did advise the public to "remain cautious." Then he said they are looking for a "dark-colored SUV with two Hispanic females," information he says, they got directly from Papini when she was found. These women are "armed and considered dangerous, and they have at least a handgun with them." It's unclear if one or both of these women released Papini.

6. According to ABC News, law enforcement are investigating Papini's restraints and clothing for DNA evidence. They're also looking through surveillance video and cell tower information. Also under investigation is Papini's past, including a previous marriage and her social media and other online activities. 

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7. Internet skeptics and armchair detectives are, of course, getting into this mystery, floating their own theories, speculations, and hoax conspiracies. As we all know from watching news stories like this, it is extremely rare for an abduction, especially one that lasted just over three weeks, to end in the safe release of the victim. But on Sunday Sheriff Bosenko told ABC News, "We currently have no reason to disbelieve Sherri Papini's story ... She was assaulted and had injuries which she was treated for."

We're just going let law enforcement do their jobs and hope they find answers soon and bring those responsible to justice. We're so thankful that this mom is home safe right now with her husband, two young kids, and extended family. Love a happy ending!


If you have any information about the disappearance or release of Sherri Papini, please call the Shasta County Sheriff's Office tip line at 530-245-6135. You may also call the Shasta County Secret Witness line at 530-243-2319 or email tips to mcu@co.shasta.ca.us

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