Sherri Papini: New video reveals moment detectives told ‘super mom’ they had cracked kidnap hoax

The 40-year-old was sentenced to 18 months in prison for lying about faked 2016 abduction

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 20 September 2022 18:53 BST
Video shows Sherri Papini breaking down as police expose kidnap hoax

New video shows the moment Sherri Papini was told by California detectives that they had uncovered her kidnapping hoax.

Papini, a mother-of-two, was sentenced to an 18-month prison sentence on Monday in connection to her November 2016 disappearance while out for a run in her hometown of Redding, California.

The day after her sentencing Shasta County Sheriff’s Office released the interview video in which investigators revealed they knew she had faked the incident.

In the video, Papini, who must also pay $310,000 in restitution, told detectives that “Talking to other guys has got me here.”

The 40-year-old, who was labelled a “super mom” in the press when it was thought that she’d been abducted, attempted to maintain her innocence and told detectives in an interview room: “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Her husband, Keith, was by her side as she held her head in her hands as she was told of the evidence that was now stacked against her.

Weeks after her purported disappearance, Papini was found several hundred miles away and claimed she had been held captive for 22 days by two Latina women, that prosecutors say she made up.

Authorities say that in fact she had got her former boyfriend, James Reyes, to help her leave her marriage after she made domestic violence allegations against her husband.

Papini was arrested in March 2022 and pleaded guilty to charges against her a month later.

Papini is seen leaving court after being sentenced to 18 months behind bars on 19 September (AP)

In the video, a Shasta County Sheriff’s detective, tells her, “We have everything that says that (James Reyes) told the truth.”

The detective then goes on to tear down her fake story.

“The reason you can describe the room is because you stayed in the room for hours on end,” they said. “The reason why you lost so much weight... is because you stopped eating.”

And he then told her that they knew that even her injuries had been set-up during the fake abduction.

“The reason why your nose was broken is because of a hockey stick.”

Prosecutors state that Mr Reyes told them that he “shot a puck off her leg” to create one injury, and that she had got him to brand her.

“Now the parts that don’t make sense is that you’re accusing two females who abducted you when it was James... The part that you were branded, James did it,” they told her.

Papini can be heard telling the detectives: “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

But they continue to methodically reveal their case against her.

“The DNA that was on you belongs to James Reyes... We talked to him, he’s been on polygraph, we talked to everyone, we have the rental agreements, phone records, car rental agreements.”

Papini then broke down crying, and told the detectives: “Talking to other guys has got me here.”

When she was asked to explain what she meant by that, she added: “’I love my husband and I made mistakes talking to other men.”

When he was interviewed by investigators, Keith Papini told them that he did not “want her around my kids or around me at all at this point.”

She eventually pleaded guilty to faking her own kidnapping and lying to the FBI. She must turn herself in to authorities by 8 November, and after her prison sentence, she will be on probation for three years.

Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence her to eight months in prison, while her defence team has asked for one month in custody and seven months of home detention.

“I am so sorry to the many people who have suffered because of me. The people who sacrificed for the broken woman I was. The people who gave willingly to help me in a time that I so desperately needed help. I thank you all,” she said in court.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in