California police say they believe Sherri Papini‘s account of being abducted is credible after the 34-year-old mother was allegedly found chained and beaten on the side of a road on Thanksgiving Day, three weeks after she vanished from a jogging trail.
“We currently have no reason to disbelieve Sherri Papini’s story,” Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said, according to ABC News. “She was assaulted and had injuries which she was treated for.”
He added that investigators are looking into Papini’s past, including her previous marriage and divorce along with any online activity, ABC reports.
Papini was found on the side of a rural road in Yolo County, California, at around 4:30 a.m. with her hands bound, Bosenko said at a press conference. She told police her captors had released her early Thursday morning, Bosenko said.
In an audio clip obtained by the Sacramento Bee, dispatchers are heard describing the woman as “heavily battered” and “chained to something.”
Papini, a mother of two, was allegedly abducted as she went for a routine jog on Nov. 2. A search for the woman ensued and Papini’s husband, Keith, pleaded for her safe return.
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Alison Sutton, who wrote on Facebook that she saw Papini along the roadside and called police, told Good Morning America that Papini was “frantically waving what looked like a shirt.”
“I figured if she was willing to risk being hit by a car, she must really need help,” she said.
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Papini told authorities that her captors were two Hispanic women who had a handgun and were driving in a dark SUV, Bosenko said.
“We have remained devoted to this case and will not rest until Sherri’s captor or captors are identified and brought to justice,” Bosenko said. We are continuing to follow investigative leads and this is a critical, and active, and ongoing investigation.”