The Redding-area mother who disappeared more than three weeks ago was found safe around 4:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning after flagging down a driver on Interstate 5 in Yolo County, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said Thursday.
Papini disappeared November 2 after leaving home to jog near the town of Mountain Gate.
Koester and Sherri's sister-in-law, Suzanne Papini, both described the missing woman as a "supermom" who would not disrupt the routine of her children, KRCR reported shortly after the disappearance. Her husband, Keith Papini, was by her side.
Keith then called his children's day care, and was told Sherri hadn't picked up the kids.
Papini's disappearance drew national attention as volunteers assisted the sheriff's department in the search. Family has not heard from Sherri and she is considered a missing person/at risk.
Investigators are looking for a dark SUV with two Hispanic females who are armed with a handgun. There is sensitive information that is being withheld at this time - I'm not able to put out.
Bosenko says Papini was "obviously she was emotional and quite upset but elated to be free". She is receiving medical clearance at a hospital. Officials said they were not aware of a motive for the kidnapping.
Her husband pleaded for her safe return via the media, and an anonymous donor offered a "ransom" to the unknown kidnappers.
An iPhone, a pair of earbuds and a few strands of what were believed to be her hair were the only leads discovered in the days after Papini went missing.
Sherri Papini was found 140 miles away from her last known whereabouts.
Her husband was cleared as a suspect after passing a polygraph test.
"We were all hopeful to have Ms. Papini recovered and brought home safely", Bosenko said.
Asked about it, Bosenko said the website played no role in Papini's release. The news conference will be held at the Shasta County Sheriff's Office, 300 Park Marina Circle, Redding, CA.
"It shows what a community can do when it works together to get the word out", he said.