Police audio clip reveals moment Sherri Papini was found 'heavily battered' on side of highway

By Vanessa Brown

Mother of two Sherri Papini went for a jog on Wednesday, November 2. She was located 22 days later. Photo / Supplied
Mother of two Sherri Papini went for a jog on Wednesday, November 2. She was located 22 days later. Photo / Supplied

The audio recording from police who responded to missing Californian jogger Sherri Papini reveal how she was found bound and "heavily battered" on the side of the highway.

Papini, who was reported missing earlier this month, was found bound by restraints but safe on Thanksgiving morning after flagging down a motorist nearly 240km away from her home in Redding, California.

The mother, 34, was found 22 days after she was reported missing in the town of Mountain Gate, California after she had gone for a run and failed to return home.

The audio recording from Yolo County sheriff deputies, which goes for 25 minutes, includes conversations between police and safety dispatchers who are heard requesting multiple units to respond to Papini's location about 4.30am on November 22.

"CHP is advising she is heavily battered," the dispatcher says on the recording obtained by the Redding Record Searchlight.

It is understood the officers also claim Papini was "chained to something" during the recording, and was able to wave down a motorist just south of County Road near Woodland.

Papini was treated for injuries before being reunited with her husband Keith and their two young children.

"It's been a range of emotions: sadness, anger. Right now it's joy," Papini's sister, Sheila Koester, told the Redding Record-Searchlight.

"We are overwhelmed with joy of how supportive everyone has been to help bring us together as a family again.

"We are very, very thankful and very ecstatic. It's the best Thanksgiving that anyone could ask for."

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said authorities were searching for two women in connection with the kidnapping. It is understood the women were last seen driving a dark SUV, and are of Hispanic appearance. It is unknown if the suspects are known to the victim.

"Obviously she was emotional and quite upset, but elated to be freed, and so we were able to get some information from her," Mr Bosenko said onGood Morning America.

"Then in the days following this, we will be following up with her. Detectives will not rest until her captor or captors are identified and brought to justice.

"This investigation is far from over."

California woman Alison Sutton shared on Facebook over the weekend that she saw Papini on the roadside and phoned the police.

"I couldn't stop in time to help you this morning but I did pull over and report to police that I saw you by the road and was certain you needed help," Sutton wrote on a Facebook page created to help find Papini.

"I am thankful that someone else was able to pull over safely to help you and that you are safe. God bless you and your family."

Papini's father-in-law Rod Rodriguez responded: "Thank you very much for alerting the police. We greatly appreciate your assistance."

Sutton replied: "I don't know that my call helped her, but I am very thankful she is safe and back with her family. This is truly a Thanksgiving to remember."

Papini's disappearance made national news, after her husband reported her missing on November 2.

Papini, who had been our for a jog, failed to return home and hadn't collected her children from daycare.

Investigators found her mobile and headphones near to where she had last been seen, along with a few strands of hair - but any other clues were scarce.

Her disappearance generated a widespread community search, which saw her face circulated on flyers and Facebook groups around the country, as well as through a GoFundMe page.

Mr Bosenko reported that 400 tip offs were made during the course of her disappearance.

"It shows what a community can do when it works together to get the word out," Mr Bosenko added.

In August, two women were killed in separate incidents while out jogging.

Katrina Vetrano was found slain in a marshy area near Howard Beach, New York after she went out for her evening jog on August 2.

The 30-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and strangled on a Spring Creek Park trail the locals call "the Weeds", near her parents' house in Queens.

Vetrano, an avid jogger, would usually run the trail with her father. But on the evening of her death, he was recovering from an injury so she ran alone.

Five days after Vetrano's tragic death, 27-year-old Vanessa Marcotte was found dead in a wooded area less than a kilometre from her parents' house in Princeton, Massachusetts.

Prior to both of these murders, 31-year-old Alexandra "Ally" Brueger was shot four times in the back and killed while running in Michigan on July 30.

Brueger, who was a nurse at a local hospital, liked to run 16km a day down a dirt road called Fish Lake in Michigan.

Following the third murder, speculation grew that all three women may have been targeted by a serial or copycat killer.

- news.com.au

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