The husband of the woman who has been missing since going out on an afternoon jog has taken a polygraph exam and spoken out.
There has been no trace of mother of two Sherri Papini after she was reported missing on November 2.
Her husband Kieth Papini, who found her mobile phone about a kilometre from her home north of the city of Redding in Shasta County, in northern California, has been ruled out a suspect after passing the polygraph test, Record Searchlight reported.
Keith Papini has been talking with detectives and submitted to a polygraph earlier this week as the investigation into his wife's disappearance intensified, said Lieutenant Anthony Bertain, a spokesman for Shasta County Sheriff's Office.
"The results of the polygraph examination indicate he has no involvement with the disappearance of his wife," Bertain said in a statement. "Sheriff's Office detectives have confirmed his whereabouts on the day in question, and there is no physical evidence at this time suggesting he had any involvement."
Keith Papini said authorities already knew he had nothing to do with his wife's disappearance.
"They [the sheriff] already knew at that time it wasn't me," he says. "Once this story went everywhere, it was time for them to release to the public - so it is not like it was a relief for me, because that is not where my head has been this whole time. My head has been trying to find my wife." he told People.
He says his wife was abducted and has made an appeal for her to be returned home.
"I just want her back, and I want her back safety," he told People.
"Just bring her home," he said to whomever is responsible. "Please bring her back. The sooner the better."
Social media has cast aspirations on Sherri's husband, forcing a relative to defend him on Facebook.
"Unfortunately, there are random, ignorant people on the internet that are casting aspersions on both Sherri and Keith," Rod Rodriguez III said in a statement on Redding Crime 2.0.
He described the couple as having a loving relationship, adding that Keith Papini hasn't obtained a lawyer despite being interrogated by authorities multiple times. He has provided detectives with all of their electronic devices and allowed authorities to search their home and cars without warrant.
"In regard to the hurtful rumours regarding Keith, everyone that actually knows him knows of his and Sherri's wonderful loving relationship and devotion to their family and knows he had nothing to do with Sherri's disappearance," Rodriguez said. "That is why everyone of them was out searching last weekend, one notable family rented search helicopters and another couple cut their vacation short and flew home across the Atlantic while another flew down from Idaho."
Rodriguez said the Papinis celebrated their wedding anniversary, which was in early October.
"We recognise that in 80 per cent of the disappearance cases the spouse is responsible," he said. "But conversely, that means in 20 per cent of the cases the spouse is not involved. This case falls into the latter category."
He said Sherri was a devoted mother of two and had gone trick-or-treating with her family days before her disappearance.
"As to her devotion to her kids it is the stuff of legend to all that know her," Rodriguez said.
Lt Bertain said authorities were "still trying to determine if Sherri Papini's disappearance is voluntary or involuntary".
"We're investigating all avenues right now," Bertain said. "We're not set on one particular direction right now."
However Keith Papini, who found his wife's abandoned mobile and ear buds before he called police, believes his wife has been snatched by possibly more than one person.
"She is my wife, and I know everything about her," he said.
"I know that my wife would never leave me and never in a million years leave our kids.
"It is just like she vanished."
Keith said his wife "would have to have been either snuck up on, or there would have been multiple or maybe two people, because my wife is very aware. She wouldn't have allowed somebody to get that close to her unless it was unsuspecting"
The abductor, he believes, is a stranger.
"My gut says it is a person unknown to myself and Sherri. My gut tells me it is just low-life people."
A Help Find Sherri Papini Facebook page has been set up, a GoFundMe account has raised more than $41,000 for the Papini family to pay for search efforts. The Papini family has also offered a $40,000 reward for Sherri's return.