Ex-boyfriend who hid Sherri Papini for 22 days is revealed

Nov. 2, 2016

10:37 a.m.: Sherri Papini sends a text message to her husband, Keith Papini, to ask whether he will be home for lunch. He replies later in the afternoon that he won’t.

About 5 p.m.: Keith Papini returns to the Mountain Gate home he shares with his wife, Sherri Papini, and cannot find her or their two children. He learns the children had not been picked up from daycare and uses the Find My iPhone app to track her phone less than a mile from their home to the intersection of Old Oregon Trail and Sunrise Drive. Her earbuds are wrapped loosely around the phone, and there are strands of hair.

5:51 p.m.: Keith Papini reports to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office his wife is missing with suspicious circumstances.

Arriving deputies canvass the area; witnesses report last seeing Sherri Papini wearing a pink running jacket and jogging on Sunrise Drive. One recalls seeing her at 11 a.m. and another at 2 p.m.

Nov. 3, 2016

Search and rescue teams with the sheriff’s office comb the area of Sunrise Drive and Old Oregon Trail. The California Highway Patrol assists with an aerial search. Patrol deputies and detectives begin to make checks on 290 registered sex offenders who live in the area. Sherri Papini’s sister, Sheila Koester, says the family thinks she has been abducted.

Nov. 4, 2016

Secret Witness of Shasta County announces a $10,000 reward for information. Volunteers with community groups show up at the Papini home to help in the search.

Nov. 5, 2016

Family members add $40,000 to the reward, bringing the total to $50,000.

Nov. 7, 2016

The family refocuses search efforts to get the attention of national news organizations and social media networks.

Nov. 9, 2016

Sheriff’s Lt. Anthony Bertain announces Keith Papini is not a person of interest in the case after he passes a lie-detector test and no physical evidence links him to the disappearance.

Nov. 13, 2016

Family hires a private investigator.

Nov. 15, 2016

Koester and Keith Papini attend the Redding City Council meeting to thank supporters and announce they will release balloons at a future date to get Sherri Papini’s face ‘around the world.’

Nov. 17, 2016

An anonymous person sets up the website www.sherripapini.com to offer an undisclosed ransom for Sherri Papini’s immediate release, setting a deadline of 5 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23. A letter provides instruction to ‘the person who has Sherri Papini’ and names Cameron Gamble as the middleman. Gamble, who describes himself as a kidnap and ransom consultant and is connected to Bethel Church’s missions, says he is acting independently from law enforcement and family.

Sheriff Tom Bosenko says there still is not enough evidence to classify the disappearance as an abduction and cautions the approach could make the family a target of scam artists.

Nov. 20, 2016

The sheriff’s office confirms it has served more than 20 search warrants and received about 400 tips.

Nov. 22, 2016

Gamble says he believes the purported abductors are ‘still in decision-making mode,’ while Rod Rodriguez, Keith Papini’s step-father, warns on Facebook that if the deadline expires without information, the money will turn into a reward after the deadline passes. Gamble declines to say how much the alleged abductor would receive, but says a tipster who helps get Sherri Papini home safely will receive a six-figure reward.

Nov. 23, 2016

Gamble posts a new video saying the ransom has been withdrawn and the money will be combined with the $50,000 reward previously posted.

Nov. 24, 2016

4:30 a.m.: Sherri Papini is spotted by a motorist on Interstate 5 near Woodland, about 150 miles south of Redding.

10:31 a.m.: The sheriff’s office makes public the big break in the investigation, stating she is safe, receiving medical clearance and reunited with her husband.

2 p.m.: Bosenko describes her captors as two Hispanic women with a handgun driving in a dark-colored SUV. He says one of the captors left her alongside County Road 17 off the freeway, where she was bound by restraints. She was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released from a hospital in Yolo County, Bosenko says. He declines to elaborate on her injuries or whether she was sexually assaulted.

Nov. 25, 2016

Koester in a press conference credits social media for bringing attention to her sister’s case. Bosenko says his office has no reason to doubt Sherri Papini’s story, and authorities are combing surveillance videos and traffic cameras to identify the perpetrators.

Nov. 26, 2016

Audio of the 911 call and response to the discovery of Sherri Papini reveals that California Highway Patrol officers found her ‘chained to something’ and ‘heavily battered.’

Nov. 29, 2016

Keith Papini issues a written statement to ‘Good Morning America’ that his wife was branded, covered in bruises from repeated beatings and starved down to 87 pounds. Her ‘signature long, blond hair had been chopped off’ and she was thrown from a vehicle with a chain around her waist, attached to her wrists and a bag over her head.

Bosenko says after her release, Papini walked to a nearby church. But nobody was there, so she walked to Interstate 5 and County Road 17 where she flagged down a motorist. His office still does not know whether Sherri Papini was targeted or abducted at random.

Nov. 30, 2016

Bosenko holds another news conference. He elaborates on the description of the two suspects and reveals they branded a ‘message’ into Papini’s skin.

One is younger, with long curly hair, thin eyebrows, pierced ears and a thick Spanish accent. The other woman is older with straight black and gray hair and thick eyebrows. Bosenko says he does not have specific information to know if the case was related to a cartel or human trafficking.

Bosenko also reveals to the ‘Today’ show that Papini’s phone and earbuds appeared to be neatly placed on the ground rather than lost in a struggle, with the screen facing up and the earbuds loosely wrapped around the phone.

Cameron Gamble, in an interview with KRCR News Channel 7, says ‘history was made’ with this case and speaks about Redding serving as a test case for a model that can be duplicated on other abduction cases. He says ‘no money exchanged hands at any point in time’ but the community and media played their part in spreading awareness about the case.

Dec. 1, 2016

Bill Garcia, the private investigator hired by the family of Sherri Papini, on the ‘Today’ show says he believes sex trafficking may be a motive. Hostage experts cast doubts on that theory.

Dec. 2, 2016

Keith Papini gives an interview to ABC’s ’20/20′ in which he describes the ordeal and reveals, among other things, the family is not staying at home but at an undisclosed location.

Dec. 3, 2016

Redding-area residents gather to take a Welcome Home Sherri Community Holiday Photo on the lawn in front of the Redding Civic Auditorium

February 2017

The mystery man who offered a reward for ‘supermom’ Sherri Papini’s return says he thinks the Redding woman was kidnapped last year for sex trafficking.

The man, who anonymously offered a $100,000 reward for her return, made the claim on the television show ‘Crime Watch with Chris Hansen.’

April 2017

Call records obtained by the Sacramento Bee reveal that Sherri Papini in 2003 allegedly had been harming herself and blaming her mother for her injuries. The revelations, reported by the Bee, were the latest in the Papini saga.

Loretta Graeff, Papini’s mother, in a December 2003 Shasta County Sheriff’s Office incident report called authorities to ask for help with her daughter, who Graeff alleged had been hurting herself and blaming the injuries on Graeff, the Bee reported. The Bee received the report after filing requests under the California Public Records Act. The report doesn’t say whether investigators found evidence that Papini had harmed herself.

Papini’s family, in a statement to ABC News, ripped the Bee story, calling it ‘shameful.’

October 2017

Detectives still don’t know who abducted Sherri Papini or why, but they reveal that texts with a man in Detroit, male DNA that didn’t come from her husband and a brawl Papini described between her and one of her captors have all been part of the investigation.

Shasta County Sgt. Brian Jackson says one of the angles detectives pursued is Papini’s alleged relationship with a ‘male acquaintance from Michigan.’ Jackson saysPapini planned to meet the man days before she disappeared because he was coming to California for business, but investigators later determined he wasn’t involved in her disappearance.

Jackson also says officials found DNA from two people on Papini — that of a man and a woman. Jackson says authorities collected the woman’s DNA from Papini’s body, while the man’s was found on the clothes she wore when found.

He says the male DNA was not that of her husband, Keith Papini.

November 2017

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office releases video of Sherri Papini shortly after she was released from her alleged abductors in Yolo County.

The Nov. 24, 2016, video was captured by a church near the northbound on ramp to Interstate 5.

Papini can be seen running to the church north on Highway 99W and then south on Highway 99W until she goes out of view, heading toward the I-5 northbound on ramp.

The Sheriff’s Office said the video surveillance date and time were validated by detectives as occurring at 4:15 a.m.

November 2019

Three years after the Redding-area mom vanished and re-appeared, officials say they still have no identifiable suspects except for two sketches of Hispanic women Papini says held her captive for three weeks.

‘When you say something’s cold, (it means) we just don’t have an active lead to work on at the moment,’ Shasta County sheriff’s Capt. Pat Kropholler said. ‘But it doesn’t mean the case is closed.’

Meanwhile, some experts believe the truth could be hiding in DNA samples collected from her clothes and body.

June 2021

The Record Searchlight reports that Sherri Papini’s alleged kidnapping is one of 22 cases dating to 1984 in Shasta County that remain unsolved.

Secret Witness of Shasta County was still offering up to $10,000 was still offering for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the culprits. 

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