iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — When 34-year-old California mother, Sherri Papini, was found injured on the side of a road and bound by restraints on Thanksgiving Day, friends and family expressed relief. Police called the moment a “new chapter” in their investigation into her alleged kidnapping.
“We currently have no reason to disbelieve Sherri Papini’s story,” Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said on Sunday. “She was assaulted and had injuries which she was treated for.”
He said it is unusual for abductions to have a positive outcome.
While Bosenko has expressed confidence in Papini’s story, little else about her more than three-week disappearance has surfaced publicly.
Here are some of the questions that surround her alleged abduction:
Bosenko said that the case is still an active investigation and that authorities are “looking for a dark-colored SUV with two Hispanic females armed with a handgun.”
The sheriff said the identities of Papini’s captors are unknown at this time.
Many on social media have commented on the vague descriptions of the women, but it is plausible that Papini has given more detailed accounts of her captors to police than have yet been reported to the press.
Bosenko said that “sensitive information” related to Papini’s disappearance has not been disclosed.
Papini’s family has described her as a “super mom,” and her absence sparked concerns when she did not pick up her young children from child care that day. Her husband, Keith Papini, said he got a text from her at 10:37 that morning, asking whether he was coming home for lunch.
Keith Papini passed a lie detector test prior to his wife’s reappearing on Thanksgiving Day, and was described by police as being “cooperative” throughout their investigation.
The sheriff has said that investigators are looking into his wife’s past, including a previous marriage and divorce, and are checking into her online activity for possible clues from her private life.
Police have said that a motive is not known at this time, and the unusual circumstances behind her alleged kidnapping — such as why two armed women would target a jogging woman from the side of the road — have not been explained to the public.
Papini was reported missing on Nov. 2 after she went for a run at approximately 2 p.m. local time. She was found on Nov. 24, leaving a little more than three weeks of time for which investigators must account.
She disappeared in Redding, California, a city located in the northernmost region of the state. No details have been publicly released about whether she was transported by her alleged abductors to a specific location, or if she had any knowledge of where she was during the three weeks she was missing.
Papini told police that her captors dropped her off in the area where she was found, 150 miles from her home, on Thanksgiving Day.
Investigators are analyzing the restraints and Papini’s clothing for DNA evidence as well as surveillance video from businesses, homes and traffic cameras in the city of Redding and the surrounding counties.
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