What We Know About the Investigation Into Sherri Papini's Disappearance

The woman was found safe on Thanksgiving, but questions remain unanswered.

ByABC News
November 25, 2016, 2:04 PM

— -- A California woman who went missing in early November is now safe at home with her family after she was found on Thanksgiving Day, but the details surrounding her disappearance and alleged abduction remain unclear.

Here’s what is known about the case.

‘Super Mom’ Vanishes While Jogging

Sherri Papini, 34, was reported missing on Nov. 2 after she went for a run at approximately 2 p.m. local time and didn’t return home. The mother of two, she was last seen wearing a pink top and jogging alone on Sunrise Drive in Redding, California, according to a poster that was distributed in the search effort.

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said that she was “considered at risk due to the suspicious circumstances.”

Her 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.

“I usually don’t bring my personal phone in on my job,” he told ABC News in early November. “So I didn’t respond to that message until 1:39 p.m. that day.”

A $50,000 reward was offered to anyone who could provide information leading to her whereabouts.

“She has a family that loves her. Please just bring her home,” her sister, Sheila Koester, told ABC News in early November.

Phone, Earbuds, Hair Found During Search

Earlier this month, Keith Papini said he traced his wife’s cellphone using an app that tracks lost phones and found the device on the side of a road where she normally runs.

Authorities found Sherri Papini’s earbuds and strands of her hair during the search. But no other evidence or new information turned up after the initial search on the night she was reported missing.

"Into the next day, our search and rescue teams were there with K-9s, and no new evidence turned up other than what we have with the cellphone, earbuds and a few strands of hair,” Bosenko told reporters on Nov. 11.

PHOTO: Keith and Sherri Papini.
Keith and Sherri Papini.

Found Alive 3 Weeks Later on Thanksgiving

“We are very ecstatic to report that Sherri Papini has been located and has been reunited with husband and family on this day of Thanksgiving,” Bosenko said at a news conference on Thursday. “I am happy to say that Sherri is now safe and that she has been treated at an area hospital outside of Shasta County for non-life-threatening injuries.”

He did not specify the nature of her injuries.

Papini was released early Thursday morning by her captor or captors on a rural road in Yolo County, about 150 miles from her home, Bosenko said.

“She was bound with restraints but was able to summon help from a passing motorist,” he told reporters.

In an interview on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” today, Bosenko described Papini as “very emotional” after authorities found her and when she was reunited with her husband.

Who Are Her Abductors?

The sheriff 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.”

Papini was interviewed Thursday by detectives from the major crimes unit of the sheriff’s office. Bosenko said on “GMA” that he is hoping to gain additional information on the vehicle to help identify the abductors and bring them to justice.

PHOTO: Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko appears on "Good Morning America" after missing California mom, Sherri Papini, is found.
Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko appears on "Good Morning America" after missing California mom, Sherri Papini, is found.

Husband Is Not a Person of Interest

Keith Papini was given and passed a polygraph test not long after his wife’s disappearance, according to the Shasta County Sheriff's Office. Police said he asked investigators about taking the test, so they offered it. The major crimes unit said the results showed that “he has no involvement with the disappearance of his wife.”

“Keith Papini continues to be cooperative in the investigation and is not a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife,” police said in a statement. “Keith has talked with detectives on several occasions since he reported his wife missing ... Sheriff’s Office detectives have confirmed his whereabouts on the day in question, and there is no physical evidence at this time suggesting he had any involvement.”

The sheriff said police corroborated information that Keith Papini was at work at the time of his wife’s disappearance. He has maintained that she was taken against her will.

“Knowing that she didn’t pick up our kids — there is no way that ever happens,” he told ABC News in a Nov. 6 interview. “She could drop her phone, but she would never in a million years not pick up our children on a time that she normally would have.”

ABC News’ Enjoli Francis, Sabina Ghebremedhin, Cameron Harrison, Anthony McMahon and Nicole Pelletiere contributed to this report.

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