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Sherri Papini: One Year Later

A year ago on Thanksgiving morning, missing Mountain Gate mother Sherri Papini was found. As we look back over the past year, this story has continued to fuel both support and controversy.

Posted: Nov 24, 2017 3:19 PM
Updated: Nov 24, 2017 10:43 PM

A year ago on Thanksgiving morning, missing Mountain Gate mother Sherri Papini was found. As we look back over the past year, this story has continued to fuel both support and controversy.

Around 4:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning, the stunning news came that mother of two Sherri Papini had been found - alive. CHP advised that she was heavily battered and confirmed it was a kidnapping.

Dispatchers in Yolo County said she appeared to be chained to something. Within hours the 34 year old was reunited with her husband Keith, who police cleared as a person of interest after he passed a lie detector test. 

Keith reported her missing on November 2, 2016. 22 days after Sherri Papini's disappearance, her sister, Sheila Koester, made a statement for the family that confirmed her return.

"Keith and Sherri have only one statement at this time," she said. "We are overwhelmed with joy of how supportive everyone has been to help bring us together as a family again," she continued.

Since returning home, Papini has not spoken publicly, but has described her captors. Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said, "We're looking for a dark colored SUV with two Hispanic females." In October of this year sketches of those females were released, as well as a tape of the 911 call made by Keith the night she went missing.

"That's right where I found her phone on the ground, telling me that something happened to her is the way. I'm looking at it. There's like, the end of her hair in the headphones, like it got ripped off," Keith Papini said.

In the most recent press release, the Shasta County Sheriff's Office says Papini maintains she was never sexually assaulted.

They said Papini had an online and texting relationship with a man from Michigan who authorities say was not involved. Male DNA was found on Papini, even though she claims two women abducted her.

Her husband appeared on ABC's "20/20" less than a month after her return, his only television appearance. He said on the show, "When lights are off, when doors shut, when she hears certain sounds...  it's something I don't know how to deal with, and we'll need somebody that can help her through that through a professional standpoint. It's not just a long road... it's something we'll never ever forget."

It's certainly something they will never forget, nor will the public. Earlier this month Sherri Papini was on the cover of People magazine with the headline 'Bizarre Kidnapping Mystery.' 

Authorities say they have gone through 600 tips regarding the investigation, and Papini has only given them pieces of information about what happened to her during those 22 days.

An anonymous donor backed an reward amount of $100,000  for Sherri's safe return. Investigators say the offer did not appear to be linked to her release.

Authorities hope the newly released sketches of her captors will generate tip on who her abductors were, and why they took her hostage.

California Coronavirus Cases

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Friday was a quiet weather day for northern California, ahead of hotter and potentially more dangerous changes this weekend and early next week. A Red Flag Warning will be in effect from Saturday evening through Monday morning.
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