Recent reports of her family’s past allegations against her have fueled skepticism about Sherri Papini’s headline-making kidnapping story: The California woman claimed she was abducted in November 2016 and later dropped off, beaten and bruised, on the side of a highway. Still, a rash of disappearances in the area suggest there may be kidnappers targeting women in California.
At around the same time Papini was abducted, several other women disappeared in areas within close proximity. However, in at least two of the cases, authorities claimed no foul play was involved.
On November 2, 2016, the same day Papini went missing, 51-year-old Stacey Smart disappeared from Lewiston, about two hours away. Smart remains missing.
On December 1, 2016, 25-year-old Amy Snow disappeared from Salyer, about a three-hour drive from Papini’s location. Snow’s body was found on December 31, by the Trinity River. Police said foul play is not suspected.
On December 10, 2016, Jessica Roggenkamp, 44, disappeared from Anderson. She was last seen by two men who helped her change her car tire. Authorities declared there was no evidence to suggest foul play, and she remains missing.
When Papini was found on Thanksgiving Day 2016, by all accounts, it appeared as if she’d been abducted and severely beaten. When authorities found her, she weighed 87 pounds and had a bag over her head. She was tied up and left on the side of a road on Interstate 5 in Yolo County. She was beaten so badly that she was hardly recognizable.
Yet, besides the lack of an obvious motive, many people found her story incredulous. Most abductors, according to statistics, will not let their victim go free. Why was Papini released?
And just this week, allegations of questionable behavior in the so-called “Supermom”‘s past have brought her claims further into question.
On Thursday, the Sacramento Bee revealed that Papini’s family had called the police on multiple occasions to report potentially unlawful behavior, but Papini was never charged.
According to police records obtained by the Sacramento Bee, Papini’s mother Loretta Graeff called 911 in December 2003 to report that her daughter had harmed herself and blamed her injuries on her mother.
Shasta County Sheriff’s Lt. Pat Kropholler told Crime Online on Thursday that the report stated a detective provided “advice” to Ms. Graeff, and did not include any further details.
Prior to the mother’s report, Papini’s father and sister had also called the police. In 2000, Papini’s father Richard Graeff called the Shasta County Sherrif’s office to report that his daughter had broken into and burglarized his home. In 2003, he called the police again, claiming she used his checking account without his permission.
Also in 2000 — and according to ABC News, on the same day of her father’s report — Papini’s sister Sheila Koester called the sheriff’s office to say she thought Papini kicked in her back door and attempted to burglarize her home. Lt. Kropholler told Crime Online that there was no indication anything had been taken.
“Many times if we get calls like this via a family member… they don’t want to press charges,” Lt. Kropholler said, adding, “I don’t know if that is what happened in these cases. ”
Papini would have been in her late teens and early twenties at the time of the reported incidents.
“You have these situations when she was a teenager,” former FBI agent Brad Garrett said in an interview with ABC News. “There’s nothing to date to say they are relevant to what happened to her several months ago.”
Crime Online‘s Nancy Grace appeared on Good Morning America (GMA) to say that dredging up family conflicts from well over a decade ago amounts to “victim-blaming.”
I would suggest we look back at the evidence of her alleged kidnapping. She was covered in bruises and scabs. Her hair was cut off. The bridge of her nose was broken.
Plus, she was found 150 miles away. You think with the intense scrutiny around her disappearance she could get their on her own?
“I think everyone is victim-blaming,” Nancy said. “Yes, she’s got problems … That doesn’t mean she wasn’t abducted.”