Mystery deepens

California ‘super mom’ who was abducted found with ‘message’ branded onto her skin

Sherri and Keith Papini (YouTube)

New details are emerging about the California ‘super mom’ who mysteriously vanished at the beginning of November and was found begging for help by the side of the road on Thanksgiving Day. Sherri Papini, 34, was abducted by two women, her husband Keith has revealed, according to her account, and brutally tortured while being held against her will. While some have raised suspicions about the possibility that her disappearance was a hoax, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko has confirmed the claims Keith Papini has disclosed to the media.

Keith said that Sherri was in dire condition when she was found by the side of the road about 150 miles from her home after being thrown out of a car by her captors. A chain was still fixed around her waist. Sherri’s body weight had plummeted to just 87 pounds and she sustained numerous injuries including a broken nose while being held captive, chained up at times, and was subjected to physical and mental abuse. “The officers warned me to brace myself,” Keith told ABC News. “Nothing could’ve prepared me for what I was about to see upon my arrival at the hospital,” he said, adding that her face was covered in bruises and her long blond hair had been shaved off.

Perhaps the most confounding of the injuries she suffered was a “message” that her captors branded onto her flesh. Bosenko, the sheriff, wasn’t specific about what the message said, but acknowledged that it was a clue in the case. “I would think that that was some sort of either an exertion of power and control and/or maybe some type of message that the brand contained,” Bosenko said on ABC News’ Good Morning America. “It is not a symbol, but it was a message.”

The Papinis have two young boys together and Sherri has been described by friends and family as a ‘super mom.’ Authorities are still searching for her abductors. Watch the video below for more on the startling case.

Read the full story at ABC News.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is independent of and separate from any views of The New York Times.

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