How Investigators Determined A California Woman Faked Her Own Kidnapping

Redding, California mother of two, Sherri Papini, disappeared on November 2, 2016, reportedly while out jogging about a mile from her home. Showing up three weeks later, emaciated, bruised, and with a brand on her shoulder, Papini claimed she’d been abducted and tortured by two masked, Spanish-speaking women who threatened her with human trafficking. After years of looking into the alleged kidnapping, authorities say they determined that Sherri Papini faked the abduction and manufactured her injuries with the help of an unwitting ex-boyfriend. “He was definitely duped,” says retired Shasta County Sheriff’s Department Captain John “Pat” Kropholler, the lead investigator. Kropholler says the former boyfriend was not charged. Papini is currently serving an 18-month sentence in federal prison after she pleaded guilty in April 2022 to mail fraud and making false statements. What did she tell investigators that they say gave them a gut feeling that she was lying? This episode of Dr. Phil, “Supermom Missing: Inside the Sherri Papini Investigation,” airs Tuesday. And later, what have her parents and other family members said about Papini’s past behavior? Plus, find out why criminal defense attorney Mark Eiglarsh says he doesn’t think Papini got the sentence she deserved. Check your local listing for airtimes. Hear more about the investigation into Sherri Papini on Dr. Phil's five-part true crime podcast, “Supermom Missing: Mystery and Murder: Analysis by Dr. Phil,” available on all podcast platforms. TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Outrageous news story in your town?