Sherri Papini: California investigators question parts of 'kidnapped' joggers' story

Mystery surrounds mother-of-two's disappearance last year 

Friday 27 October 2017 11:44 BST
Police recovered Ms Papini's phone, earbuds and strands of her hair about a mile from her house
Police recovered Ms Papini's phone, earbuds and strands of her hair about a mile from her house (Shasta County Sheriff's Office)

Detectives have questioned parts of the account given by a California woman who was kidnapped, beaten and branded during a three week ordeal.

Sherri Papini went missing almost a year ago on 2 November 2016, after going for a jog near her home in the northern Californian city of Redding.

The 34-year-old mother-of-two was discovered almost three weeks later, at the side of a road over 150 miles away in Yolo County.

She told Shasta County Sheriff's that her kidnappers had chained her up and beaten her. Investigators said she had been branded with a "message" and her hair had been cut off.

Ms Papini said she was abducted by two women and the FBI has released sketches of them based on the mother-of-two's description. A $10,000 (£7,500) reward is stiil being offered for information leading to their identification.

But Sergeant Brian Jackson told the Record Searchlight newspaper that Ms Papini had told a forensic interviewer that she cut the side of her right foot during a struggle with one of her captors, whose head she had hit into a toilet.

However, he said "when she was being processed at the hospital ... no evidence of a cut was seen in the photographs."

Sgt Jackson added that the brand on Ms Papini was still unclear because of "obscure letters."

"The quality of the brand is poor," he said.

Mystery also surrounded a man from Michigan who had been texting Ms Papini in the days before she disappeared. The pair had agreed to meet her while he was in California. However, investigators interviewed him and cleared him of any involvement in the kidnapping.

Ms Papini's husband, Keith, has also been excluded as a suspect.

He was speaking after an apparent breakthrough with the case, when it was revealed that investigators had collected male DNA from Ms Papini's clothing and female DNA from her body.

Shasta County Sheriff's department said they had been "compiled and uploaded into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), the national database that compares DNA profiles electronically with known offender profiles,"

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