Northern California officials have released few details in the case of a mother who went missing for three weeks last year, but a sheriff gave a small update this week.
Sherri Papini, 34, went missing in November before showing up on the side of a road 150 miles south of her home in Redding, California. She said she was tortured, starved, and held captive by two Hispanic women.
“We would just appreciate our time to heal and privacy,” Papini’s sister, Sheila Koester, told the Sacramento Bee newspaper on Monday.
After a Nov. 30 news conference, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said his department wouldn’t release information about her case as it is being investigated. He didn’t go into details during a recent interview with the Sacramento Bee.
“The investigation is still ongoing. It is a priority case,” he explained. “We’re still being assisted by the FBI in the case. We’re waiting for some evidence to be processed by the California Department of Justice.”
The Bee reported that some public records have been blacked out, with the Shasta Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies denying the paper’s requests for information.
Shasta County detectives have said they traveled out of state and authored more than 20 search warrants in the case.
“This type of follow-up has taken detectives out of state in the hopes Sherri could be found,” the sheriff said.
“You never know on these cases,” Bosenko said. “Tomorrow, there could be a major break in the case. You just don’t know.”
Sherri and husband, Keith Papini, have stayed out of the public eye and have not stayed at their home near Redding since the abduction.
Keith, in an interview, described his wife’s abuse right after she was discovered. “Her now emaciated body of 87 pounds was covered in multi colored bruises, severe burns, red rashes, and chain markings,” he said. “Her signature long, blonde hair had been chopped off.”