Husband of abducted Calif. mom Sherri Papini: She was covered in bruises

REDDING, Calif. -- The husband of Sherri Papini, a mom who was allegedly abducted for three weeks, said his family has faced an onslaught of "rumors, assumptions" and lies since his wife was found on Thanksgiving.

Keith Papini said in a statement to Good Morning America that he is grateful to the thousands of people who have offered support to his family and acknowledged those who are questioning whether his wife was really kidnapped.

"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," Keith Papini told Good Morning America. "I do not see a purpose in addressing each preposterous lie."

Shasta County Sheriff's deputies said Sherri Papini was abducted Nov. 2 while jogging in her rural neighborhood off Old Oregon Trail and Sunrise Drive, just northeast of Redding.

She was released Thanksgiving Day in Yolo County, according to investigators. She was bound with restraints and described her alleged abductors as two Hispanic women with a gun.

When asked to elaborate on scanner reports that Papini, 34, was found "chained to something," Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko noted Monday that his agency had not phrased it that way.

"We weren't specific on how she was restrained," he said. "After being released, dropped off, however you want to refer to it, she walked to a nearby church, and then nobody was there, and then walked to I-5 near Road 17, where she flagged down a motorist."

While the same dispatch reports indicated she was "heavily battered," Bosenko also would not specify what kind of injuries Papini had. He said she was treated and released.

"We're not providing the details, other than they were non-life threatening and that she was treated and released," he said of the injuries.

Alison Sutton, a driver who said she saw Papini on the side of the road and called 911, told the New York Daily News that Papini "didn't look like she was hurt, but she did look scared."

She told the Daily News that Papini was waving some type of fabric for help and "was not appropriately dressed for as cold as it was."

Keith Papini offered a different account of his wife's injuries in a statement to Good Morning America. He said she was emaciated and covered in "multi-colored bruises, severe burns, red rashes, and chain markings."

"Her signature long, blonde hair had been chopped off," he said. "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."

Bosenko said Papini's description of her alleged captors was "very limited," and he would not say whether she had seen them or may have been blindfolded.

"At the time, again, she gave us very limited information of the suspects, and part of that was based on her trauma, emotional trauma," he said, noting that "sometimes the mind can block off traumatic events from recollection."

Investigators had "somewhat lengthy of an interview" with Papini Monday, Bosenko said, though the details of that interview were not immediately available.

He said he didn't know whether they'll interview her again.

"We don't have information if this was a targeted abduction or if it was a random act," Bosenko said.

His investigators "worked through the Thanksgiving holiday, including the weekend" to find the ones allegedly responsible for Papini's disappearance, Bosenko said.

That includes continued reviews of surveillance footage and cellular tower information, he said.

Keith Papini said his family is extremely private and do not plan on discussing the details of his wife's ordeal on social media.

"We are a very private family whom do not use social media outlets prior to this grotesque tragedy, he told Good Morning America. "My love for my wife took precedence and it was clear we had to be exposed in ways we never would have been comfortable with. So please have a heart and understand why we have asked for our privacy."


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