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Sherri and Keith Papini (YouTube)
Sherri and Keith Papini (YouTube)

Persistent mystery

13-year-old report on California ‘super mom’ surfaces, raising new questions about her abduction

By WITW Staff on March 31, 2017

An old police report on Sherri Papini, the California “super mom” who vanished last November and turned up on the side of the road after suffering a number of grisly injuries, has raised new questions about the claims she made to detectives regarding her mysterious abduction. Papini has said she was abducted by two Hispanic women, held captive and tortured for weeks before she escaped. In 2003, Papini’s mother, Loretta Graeff, called police in Northern California and told them her daughter had been harming herself and blaming the injuries on her, The Sacramento Bee reported on Thursday. The incident report is very brief — just two sentences — and doesn’t document whether officers observed any injuries on Papini, who was 21 at the time. But Shasta County detectives are being tight-lipped about the report, which surfaced after The Sacramento Bee filed several requests under California’s Public Records Act. Shasta County sheriff’s Lt. Pat Kropholler told the paper that a sheriff’s deputy had visited the home and gave advice to Graeff at the time of the incident. Apart from that, the sheriff’s office isn’t commenting any further on the old report, or on any development’s in Papini’s case other than to say that the investigation is still active.

Since Papini was discovered on the side of a highway in Yolo County, weighing only 87 pounds and riddled with wounds including a message branded onto her skin, she has never appeared in public to discuss her ordeal and officials have yet to make an arrest. The new revelations have raised questions about the case. “It’s certainly not proof (of a hoax), but it makes her story even more suspicious,” James Alan Fox, a criminology professor at Northeastern University, told The Sacramento Bee.

In a statement made to ABC News, Papini’s family criticized The Sacramento Bee for bringing the old report to light. “Sherri Papini and her family are the very recent victims of an extremely violent crime that has painfully and dramatically changed the course of their lives forever,” the statement said. “It is shameful that a media outlet would intentionally exploit Sherri and Keith Papini and their young children’s trauma for the sole purpose of clickbait and selling papers.”

The 2003 incident report wasn’t the only legal document the newspaper’s open records request turned up. The paper also discovered that Papini’s family had made several 911 calls to police between 2000 and 2003.

Read the full story at The Sacramento Bee.


‘Explosive’ new theory emerges in mysterious abduction case of California ‘super mom’