Suspect #1:  younger adult Hispanic female, dark curly hair, pierced ears, thin eyebrows

Suspect#2: older adult Hispanic female, straight black hair with some grey.  Thick eyebrows









Over the past eleven months, the investigation into the abduction of Sherri Papini has been a top priority for the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office.  A short time after the report of Sherri’s disappearance on November 2, 2016, the Sheriff’s Office consulted with the FBI, as well as numerous other local, state and federal agencies.  These agencies continue to assist the Sheriff’s Office in this investigation and their assistance is appreciated.  

On November 2, 2016, the Sheriff’s Office responded to the original 9-1-1 call made by Sherri’s husband, Keith Papini, who discovered Sherri missing from their home. A copy of the 9-1-1 call can be downloaded from  At that time, the Sheriff’s Office initiated an extensive investigation to determine Sherri’s location.  The Sheriff’s Office utilized all appropriate resources to determine whether Sherri’s disappearance was voluntary or involuntary to include, but not limited to, looking into the Papini’s personal lives, interviewing friends, family members, past acquaintances and witnesses and reviewing surveillance video where available, as well as other pertinent information.  Over 20 search warrants were executed in the effort to determine Sherri’s whereabouts.  The search warrants remain sealed by order of the Shasta County Superior Court.  The Sheriff’s Office also conducted a polygraph exam of Keith and excluded him from involvement in Sherri’s disappearance.  Keith has volunteered to take an additional polygraph exam if needed for the investigation. 

By November 17, 2016, the Sheriff’s Office had reviewed a voluminous amount of reports, tips and search warrant data.  In this review, the Sheriff’s Office discovered Sherri was texting with a male acquaintance from Michigan.  Days prior to Sherri’s disappearance, Sherri and the male acquaintance texted each in an attempt to meet while the he was in California.  Sheriff’s Office Detectives interviewed him in Michigan and determined he was not involved in Sherri’s disappearance.

On November 24, 2016, Thanksgiving Day, a trucker travelling northbound on Interstate 5 saw Sherri on the side of the highway in Yolo County and stopped to assist.  CHP and EMS responded.  Emergency personnel found Sherri bound with restraints.  Information about the restraints remains confidential as part of the on-going investigation.  Sherri later stated that she had been dropped off on the side of County Road 17 near Interstate 5 by one of her captors whom she described as a younger Hispanic female. 

Sherri was taken to Woodland Memorial Hospital where evidence was collected, to include photographs of injuries and swabs for DNA analysis.  Sherri appeared battered and bruised, her hair had been cut to shoulder length and she had a brand on her right shoulder.  Sherri, however, stated she had not been sexually assaulted, and there is no physical evidence to indicate otherwise.  The Sheriff’s Office continues to examine the brand and its possible meaning, but details of the brand remain confidential as part of the on-going investigation. 

Sheriff’s Office Detectives initially interviewed Sherri at the hospital.  Sherri provided detectives with limited details about what occurred on November 2, 2016, and a limited description of two female suspects – the only two people Sherri had contact with during her 22 days of captivity.  These suspects, however, made efforts to conceal their identities with face coverings.  Sherri described the suspects as: 

Suspect #1:  younger adult Hispanic female, dark curly hair, pierced ears, thin eyebrows

Suspect#2: older adult Hispanic female, straight black hair with some grey.  Thick eyebrows


The California Department of Justice examined evidence collected from Sherri and two DNA profiles were compiled and uploaded into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), the national database that compares DNA profiles electronically with known offender profiles.  Keith was excluded. 

Keith and Sherri Papini have remained in contact with the Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.  Sherri, continues to provide details as she can recall them, but has not been able to provide a complete detailed statement due to her poor recollection. 

An FBI sketch artist met with Sherri and rendered a sketch of each suspect as described by Sherri.  These sketches will be released by the FBI at  It has taken time for Sherri to recover to a point to be able to provide accurate details to the sketch artist.  The sketches then needed to be finalized and approved for release by the FBI.     

Sherri also described the suspect vehicle as a dark colored SUV with a large rear side window.  Sherri continues to look at photographs of various makes and models of SUV’s in an effort to provide a more detailed description.

The Sheriff’s Office has received over 600 tips from around the world in this investigation and continues to review all tips that it receives.  The Sheriff’s Office is aware of the multiple news headlines regarding reported kidnapping from other law enforcement agencies across the United States.  The Sheriff’s Office continues to follow up with those agencies to determine if the Sherri Papini investigation is related to any of those incidents.

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office remains the lead investigative agency.   The FBI continues to assist in the investigation as it is both agencies’ goal to determine who is responsible for Sherri’s abduction.

Anyone with information about the location where Sherri was held, the suspect vehicle and/or identities of the two suspects are urged to contact the FBI at 916-746-7000 (select option 1), online at or your local FBI office.  A reward up to $10,000.00 has been established for information leading to the identification of the suspects.

This news release is in lieu of a press conference/interviews and no further details about the investigation will be released at this time due to the continuing open and active investigation. 

Please check the Sheriff’s Office Facebook and Twitter pages as updates about the investigation will be posted as they come available;