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Sherri Papini kidnapping: Experts probe sex trafficking links

02 December 2016
Sherri Papini kidnapping: Experts probe sex trafficking links

A Californian woman was kidnapped, then branded, chained up and tortured before her captors dumped her at the side of a road on Thanksgiving.

Days after missing California mother Sherri Papini was found alive along the side of a road, her husband has spoken out in a statement to "Good Morning America" responding to those critical of what he said has been a "torturous journey".

Just one week since Sherri Papini was reunited with her family after missing for three weeks, the stay-at-home mom's husband Keith revealed chilling new details about the alleged kidnapping in an exclusive interview with ABC News' 20/20, set to air Friday, December 2. He didn't get into details of 'where or what 'was branded for the "integrity of the investigation". For the first time we're learning that the same two women who released Sherri were the ones who abducted her, Keith said at gun point.

Deputies are working with a sketch artist to see if they could create renderings, but only the eyes would likely be shown, Bosenko said.

During a press conference Wednesday, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko was asked about the husband's written statement sent to Good Morning America earlier in the week.

"I would think that was some sort of either an exertion of power and control and/or maybe some type of message", he said.

Sherri Papini, the 34-year old mom who went missing on November 2 after leaving her Redding, California home for an early morning jog, has been recovered and reunited with her family.

Abrams was not surprised by the sparse details that have come out since Papini was found, saying that authorities don't want to tip their hand too much just yet.

Detectives showed Sherri surveillance video which was recovered on November 2 of several SUV style vehicles that had been seen in the area at the time of her abduction.

"She was assaulted and had injuries which she was treated for", Bosenko said.

"I have like a vague memory of a flash of her face with a definitely scared look on it", said Sutton. The possible connection between sex trafficking and Sherri Papini was made because of how her captors had branded her - "a way the owners know the victim belongs to them, similar to the way a farmer brands its cattle", according to Rebecca Bender.

"We still do not have a motive as to the reason why Mrs. Papini was taken". Also, her nose bridge broken and hair chopped by the abductors.

Police say there is no evidence Sherri Papini is making this up or that this is a hoax, but the sheer improbability of her story is undeniable.

By writing the statement to the media about his wife, he may have compromised parts of the investigation, Sheriff Bosenko said during a news conference.

The 34-year-old woman was found bound by restraints along Interstate 5 in Yolo County.

She told investigators that she was abducted, and one of her female assailants had long curly hair, thin eyebrows and pierced ears. "They opened the door, she doesn't know [where] because she's got a bag over her head. We don't have that information as to why", Bosenko told the Bee of the brand.

On Wednesday, Bosenko addressed a widely circulated online post on a now-defunct website called Skinheadz.com that allegedly was signed by a "Sherri Graeff" - Papini's maiden name.

Keith Papini was previously cleared as a suspect after passing a polygraph test.