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Keith Papini: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Tonight, Keith Papini will speak to ABC News’ 20/20 about the disappearance of his wife, Sherri Papini, who went missing in early November and was found 22 days later.

Sherri vanished on the morning of November 2 while on a jog in her hometown of Redding, California. Three weeks later, she was found beaten and chained on the side of the road, about 150 miles from where authorities believe she was taken. Tonight, Keith Papini will discuss his wife’s alleged abduction in his first on-air interview since Sherri was discovered on Thanksgiving Day.

Read on to learn more about Keith Papini.


1. He Works as a Home Theater Specialist at Best Buy

Sherri Papini, Keith Papini

Keith and Sherri Papini (Facebook/FollowNews)

According to Redding’s local news outlet, The Record Searchlight, Keith works as a home theater specialist at Best Buy. His LinkedIn reveals that he has worked as an Elite Services Specialist at the store since October 2005, and graduated from Shasta College with an Associates Degree in Administration of Justice.

Thanks to a GPS in his work vehicle, Keith’s whereabouts were verified the day his wife went missing. Despite these findings, there has been speculation that Keith was personally involved in the disappearance of his wife. Less than a week after Sherri was reported missing, The Record Searchlight reported that a relative of the Papini’s– Rod Rodriguez III, who says he is Sherri and Keith’s father-in-law– went to Facebook to defend against allegations that Keith had a hand in his wife’s disappearance. The outlet reports that Rodriguez’s Facebook post read, “Unfortunately, there are random, ignorant people on the internet that are casting aspersions on both Sherri and Keith… These center around two competing theories: 1. That Sherri walked out of the relationship with her husband and children intentionally and vanished or 2. That her husband Keith is responsible for her disappearance.” In his post, Rodriguez revealed that Keith was cooperative with the police, and voluntarily handed over his cell phone and other computers to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office to aid in the investigation. The post has since been removed.


2. The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Says Keith’s Statement May Have Compromised the Integrity of The Investigation

KRCR News reports that Shasta County Sheriff, Tom Bosenko, was “blindsided” by the statement Keith Papini released to the media during a news conference on Wednesday after being reunited with his wife. Bosenko said the statement included key details, like the fact that Sherry was branded, that may have compromised the integrity of the case. Bertain told KRCR:

There’s some unique information in there that was in his press release today that we were hoping to keep a tight rein on as far as what we were going to release to the public. It’s not the first hurdle in this investigation that we’ve had, we’ve overcome many of them, not just in this case, but there’s surprises in all investigations, so this is just..wasn’t good timing.


3. He Says He Was Shocked by His Wife’s Appearance

Keith Papini Sherri Papini Husband,

(Youtube/TODAY)

When Keith Papini was reunited with his wife at the hospital, he says her face was covered in yellow and black bruises, and that her hair had been chopped off.

In his statement, Keith said, “Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see upon my arrival at the hospital, nor the details of the true hell I was about to hear.” He says that Sherri’s captors cut something to free her from the vehicle, and as soon as she was released, she walked to I-5 near Road 17 and flagged down a motorist. Sherri has described her alleged abductors as two Hispanic women– one with “long curly hair, thin eyebrows, and pierced ears, and the other woman, who was older, had straight black hair with gray and thick eyebrows”, reports People.


4. Keith Papini and Sheriff Bosenko Say Sherri Was Branded

Sherri Papini, Keith Papini

Keith and Sherri Papini (Facebook/follownewscom/)

In his interview with ABC News, Papini says that after being released, “[Sherri] screamed so much, she’s coughing up blood from the screaming, trying to get somebody to stop [on the road]… And again just another sign of how my wife is, she’s so wonderful. She’s saying, ‘Well maybe people aren’t stopping because I have a chain that looks like I broke out of prison’ so she tried to tuck in her chain under her clothes.”

Both Keith and Bosenko have also revealed that Sherri was branded by her reported abductors. Speaking with ABC News’ Good Morning America, Bosenko said he believes the branding may have been done to make Sherri feel powerless. But Rebecca Bender, a national expert on human trafficking and former victim, believes Sherri was a victim of human trafficking. Bender has been branded twice by her traffickers, and tells Today, “I thought trafficked.. as soon as I heard branding– that’s the number one thing we look for in trafficking victims is a brand.”


5. News Outlets Have Reported That Keith Papini Hired a Private Investigator

According to Fox40, Keith hired a private investigator named Cody Salfen to work with law enforcement and investigate his wife’s disappearance. Salfen told Fox40 that Sherri’s case is unique for a number of reasons– one of those being that she survived. “The fact that she was recovered alive such a long period of time after her initial disappearance, that really defies my experience with abduction cases.” Salfen added on that it’s also rare for two abductors to be female. “When you have a criminal duo, essentially, or a pair of people, traditionally that would involve a male or a female. In most criminal duo relationships or situations you’ll have the male dominant role and the more subservient female role.”

Private Investigator Bill Garcia also worked with Papini’s family on the case. Garcia specializes in sex trafficking, and says that the Spanish-speaking captors who Sherri says abducted her and their M.O. are “signatures” of Mexican cartels. “The chains, as opposed to zip ties or handcuffs, the brutal beatin and the hair… these are all earmarks of something that I have seen happen south of the border.”

Mike Rinder: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Mike Rinder is a former international spokesperson for the Church of Scientology, and will appear in the new A&E docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

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19 comments

  1. There are photos of this woman looking much younger than her 34 years. I have to believe now that this was human trafficking gone wrong. They thought she was much younger. So surprised they let her live. She is one lucky girl.

    • That’s a really good point. I thought of that as well – they usually take young girls. But you’re right, she’s petite and looks sometimes looks younger. Younger girls would be easier to “break” – so they finally dumped her. Thank God! These monsters need to be found!

      • The criminal profilers insist that human traffickers look for very young women who won’t be missed. This woman running along with her well-groomed long, blonde hair and pink running outfit would not fit that description. Anything is possible, but I think this is a lead in the wrong direction.

        • Bull…these illegal alien mexican criminals are hyped up on method, get desperate, were low on supply and under pressure from demand. Opportunists. Driving down a road, coming back from somewhere….spotted what they THOUGHT was a young girl…there’s no hard and fast Reglas 4 sadistic sociopaths picking up girls for sex trafficking…it’s opportunity…we’ve given them the opportunity by NOT apprehending and deporting these evil criminal illegals. Build that wall…start deportation and beef up ICE…now.

    • Check out his 20/20 interview. So many detailed memories of everything.Why would anyone concerned about finding his wife’s captors just keep talking and giving details that may compromise the investigation? The police are pretty close mouthed. I think they are just waiting for him to talk somebody into handcuffs.

      • It was only details of her condition and her release. Not once did he mention how or where she was abducted or how her phone ended up where keith found it.. Guess she didn’t tell him

  2. This with is a drug deal thing gone bad. the husband or a relative is in some deep sheet with a Mexican drug gang and her kidnapping was about that.

  3. First report from the woman who saw her on the freeway and called the police- she saw a woman with ” long blond hair” —-hair hacked off?????? This detail seems to have disappeared as of late. All that running and screaming after being held captive and losing 15% of her body weight from presumably not being fed very well. But it’s the husband who really bothers me. He seems to be lapping up the attention. He said that he told their son that he found his mother. No, the child’s mother was found, but not by him. I did not buy the emotional interview. A lot of strange things go on these days, but my thoughts: cod, trout, bass, etc. Fishy, fishy, fishy!

    • She did not say anything about her hair. Only her eyes and waving a shirt. Lot of oddities. Lot of cars passing by and only that one women called the police. Usually truck drivers will. The constant posed photos that appeared and so many of them. The photos looked so staged except the ones like we all take on family outings and such. I agree the screaming made no sense. He seems to always want to be the hero. Maybe the police decided to let him talk and the emotions and pictures were more about trying to convince the world more than anything.He came across to me as being smothering and possessive.

      • Yes Pete, she did say that her hair was long and blonde. It was very early on, right after she was found. That video/statement seems to have disappeared. I, of course, don’t know what happened, but this just doesn’t sit right with me. If she has honestly suffered some kind of trauma, I will sincerely pray for her recovery, but with the anti-Hispanic climate that is rising in this country, if this is a hoax, it is shameful.

  4. Can’t be kidnapping for human trafficking because you don’t beat the person to a pulp sacrificing her appearance and cut her hair off. She won’t be worth anything doing that in the sex trade. I would lean to some type of cult. The branding represent something. She was targeted for a reason unknown. Where are the FBI profilers? My first thought was 2 Spanish speaking women that is like living in the south where sometimes they say that “black dude did it type thing. I did not like hearing Keith say well it was 2 women who pulled up rather than a man which would make a person leery. If you are walking down a lonely isolated road it really does not matter who pulls up and grabs you at gunpoint. No way does someone grab you and they take her cellphone and place it neatly with earplugs and hair strands in an area off the road. The sister was odd also–very stoic speaking–completely unmoved or controlled it appeared. I would be looking into this entire family and background.

    • There are a couple of profilers,don’t know if they are FBI, and their thoughts on YouTube. One absolutely does not believe the story.

    • Great observations. My thoughts exactly. I might add on about cult related, It is! with Mega Church Bethel in Redding CA. False Prophets named Bill and Beni Johnson invading the town.