KIDNAPPED CALIFORNIA MOM HAD BROKEN NOSE, BRUISES AND BURNS COVERING HER BODY, WEIGHED 87 POUNDS AND HER BLONDE HAIR WAS CHOPPED OFF WHEN SHE WAS FOUND CHAINED ON THE SIDE OF ROAD.
Sherri Papini's husband has broken his silence about his wife's physical and mental state after her 22 days in captivity
- Keith Papini said that his 34-year-old wife was covered in bruises and burns when he saw her in the hospital last Thursday, and had a broken nose
- She weighed just 87 pounds he revealed, and all of her blonde hair had been chopped off
- Keith also said that his wife had been branded at some point while being held captive
- Sherri was found chained on the side of the road near Sacramento on Thanksgiving morning, 140 miles away from her home
- On Monday she was able to give her first full interview to police since she vanished on November 2, while out for a jog
- Authorities are looking for the two Hispanic women who released Sherri on Thanksgiving, saying they could be driving a dark-colored SUV
The husband of the California supermom who was discovered chained up on the side of the road on Thanksgiving morning after three weeks in captivity is breaking his silence to discuss his wife's condition.
In a statement released to ABC News, Keith Papini recounted the heartbreaking moment he was reunited with his wife Sherri, and saw firsthand the horrific injuries she had suffered after being kidnapped while out for a jog on November 2.
'My first sight was my wife in a hospital bed, her face covered in bruises ranging from yellow to black because of the repeated beatings, the bridge of her nose broken,' said Keith.
'Her now emaciated body of 87 pounds was covered in multi colored bruises, severe burns, red rashes, and chain markings. Her signature long, blonde hair had been chopped off.'
He then added: 'She has been branded and I could feel the rise of her scabs under my fingers.'
Details about the case remain scarce, and police are still searching for the two Hispanic women in a dark-colored SUV who released Sherri, 34, the morning she was found. The pair are reported to be armed and dangerous.
Sherri was missing for 22 days before a passing motorist was able to get her to safety early Thanksgiving morning.
She had been left along Interstate 5 near the town of Woodland, approximately 140 miles south from the spot where she had been abducted three weeks prior.
Her recovery from the injuries she suffered while in captivity has been the top priority of authorities in the case, but on Monday she was able to finally sit down and give a lengthy interview with investigators.
Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko would not release details from that interview, or say much about the case, while the investigation was still in the early stages.
Keith also addressed some of the speculation being made about his wife's ordeal, and voiced his anger at those who believe Sherri could have played a role in her own disappearance or even be making the entire thing up.
'Rumors, assumptions, lies, and hate have been both exhausting and disgusting. Those people should be ashamed of their malicious, sub human behavior,' said Keith.
'We are not going to allow those people to take away our spirit, love, or rejoice in our girl found alive and home where she belongs..'
He went on to say: 'I understand people want the story, pictures, proof that this was not some sort of hoax, plan to gain money, or some fabricated race war.
'I do not see a purpose in addressing each preposterous lie.'
He also stressed that they are a 'private family,' explaining that his frequent media appearances over the past month never felt comfortable and was done for the sole reason of getting his wife back home to him and their two young children, 4-year-old Tyler and 2-year-old Violet.
Sherri was reported missing by her husband after going out for a jog near their home in Redding, with Keith first growing concerned after learning that his wife had failed to pick up the children from daycare.
TIMELINE OF SHERRI PAPINI'S KIDNAPPING
November 2: Sherri Papini fails to pick up her two children from daycare and is reported missing by her husband Keith
November 10: Keith Papini is ruled out as a suspect after passing a lie detector test
November 18: The FBI joins the search for Sherri as an anonymous donor offers $50,000 for her return
November 22: Christine Everson spots a woman she believes to be Sherri Papini at a rest stop in Redding, just miles away from the missing woman's home. The woman refuses to engage Everson in conversation after she approaches the dark SUV she is sitting in, the same tupe of car police are now looking for in the case. Everson leaves but reports her sighting to police.
November 23: Cameron Gamble, a local 'negotiator', appears in a video on behalf of the anonymous donor to inform Sherri's captors the ransom was now 'off the table'. Instead it was turned into a $100,000 reward for information
November 24: Sherri flags down a passing motorist at the intersection of I-5 and County Road 17 and is taken to hospital
He traced her discarded iPhone to the side of the road about a mile from their home where he found it tossed on the ground with her running 'ear buds'.
A missing persons appeal was launched soon after, with posters littering the local town of Mountain Gate and scores of social media pleas for Sherri's return.
Within days Sherri's disappearance had become a national news story.
Keith was later named as a potential person of interest in the case but ruled out when he passed a lie detector test.
An initial ransom was offered to her kidnappers of $50,000 in a video featuring Cameron Gamble, a negotiator hired by an anonymous donor to try and get Sherri back home.
Gamble claimed the money had been put up by a private citizen but that it would expire if Sherri's kidnappers did not come forward.
Last Wednesday, after upping the ransom to $100,000, Gamble withdrew the offer, instead turning it into a reward for anyone with information on the young mother's whereabouts.
Sherri's family said they had no involvement in the ransom but did share information about it on social media.
The family instead pleaded with well-wishers to give money to a GoFundMe account which had raised $49,080 for search efforts before Sherri was found last Thursday.
Almost exactly 24 hours after the ransom offer was withdrawn, Sherri flagged down a passing driver on a road between County Road 17 and I-5 in Woodland, near Sacramento.
In an interview with DailyMaill.com on Monday, California resident Christine Everson revealed that she spotted a woman who looked remarkably similar to Sherri just two days before she was found last week.
Everson said that she was at a rest stop on the outskirts of Redding, just miles away from Sherri's home, when she noticed a woman looking 'scared' while sitting in the passenger side of a vehicle.
She attempted to speak with the woman, who she described as 'subdued,' but could not get her to engage in a conversation.
At one point she even asked the woman point blank if she was Sherri, but did not get a response.
Everson said she later called police to report the possible sighting, and it is unclear if they followed up on her tip.
The woman that Everson saw was in a dark SUV, just like the one police have stated they are searching for, but was with two men and not two women.
Everson also noted that while her hair was unwashed, it had not been chopped off, and there were no visible marks or bruises on her face or body.
She also revealed that she believes her senses were heightened in the moment due to the fact that she was also abducted as a young girl.
Another red flag she revealed was the fact that the men had both left the vehicle while the woman remained inside.
Everson described the driver of the blue truck as around 5ft 6’/5ft 7’ tall, wearing a beanie, jeans, dark shoes and a dark jacket.
She said he was Latino in appearance, but lighter skinned.
The second man was tall and was wearing Jeans and tennis shoes. He was Caucasian and had redish/brown hair.
Sherri was found roughly 36 hours later, 140 miles south of that rest stop.
KEITH PAPINI STATEMENT ON WIFE SHERRI KIDNAPPING
Keith Papini gave a statement to Good Morning America on Tuesday:
The first thing I would like to address is the overwhelming amount of gratitude our entire family has for the thousands of people that have been on this torturous journey with us. I cannot possibly name each and every person, although their names are eternally etched in our hearts.
Thank you to our strong family, devoted friends, the entire Redding community, and countless communities around the world. Specific thanks to the Shasta County Sheriff”s department, FBI, NorCal Alliance for the Missing, The Lost Coast Trackers, Shasta Support Services, The Guardian Angels, my own personal A-Team, Cameron Gamble, Cody Salfen, Jim Linnan, Sean Ditty, Don Armstrong, Yolo County Sheriff's department and hospital, the medical personnel that helped our dear Sherri, social media, and many news outlets.
Thank you to LRT Graphics and Signarama. Thank you to the extremely generous, anonymous as well as named donors all over the world whom selflessly gave to our family. Thank you to the many incredible humans that have never known Sherri that facilitated in sharing our heart break across the globe.
Sherri has always captured my heart and it is no surprise that she has captured the hearts not only through the country, but throughout the world. Thank you, truly, immensely, sincerely, and with my entire heart.
Secondly, we live in a nation of free speech, accompanied with an era of technology that provides immediate gratification. This is a double edged sword. I am grateful for this system as it is what spread my wife's face quickly throughout the world, gaining the attention of thousands. The unfortunate side is that some people have been sitting in angering, expectant, positions waiting for the gory details
Rumors, assumptions, lies, and hate have been both exhausting and disgusting. Those people should be ashamed of their malicious, sub human behavior. We are not going to allow those people to take away our spirit, love, or rejoice in our girl found alive and home where she belongs. I understand people want the story, pictures, proof that this was not some sort of hoax, plan to gain money, or some fabricated race war. I do not see a purpose in addressing each preposterous lie. Instead, may I give you a glimpse of the mixture of horror and elation that was my experience of reuniting with the love of my life and mother of our children.
Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see upon my arrival at the hospital, nor the details of the true hell I was about to hear. The mental prison I was in over the past three weeks was shattered when my questions of my wife's reality became known.
The officers warned me to brace myself. My first sight was my wife in a hospital bed, her face covered in bruises ranging from yellow to black because of repeated beatings, the bridge of her nose broken.
Her now emaciated body of 87 pounds was covered in multi colored bruises, severe burns, red rashes, and chain markings. Her signature long, blonde hair had been chopped off. She has been branded and I could feel the rise of her scabs under my fingers. She was thrown from a vehicle with a chain around her waist, attached to her wrists and a bag over her head. The same bag she used to flag someone down once she was able to free one of her hands. Sherri was taken from us for 22 days, and suffered incredibly through both intense physical agony and severe mental torture. My reaction was one of extreme happiness and overwhelming nausea as my eyes and hands scanned her body. I was filled with so much relief and revulsion at once. My Sherri suffered tremendously and all the visions swirling in your heads of her appearance, I assure you, are not as graphic and gruesome as the reality.