Interrogation footage shows the moment Sherri Papini's kidnap lies were unraveled by police

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

Damning interrogation footage has been released showing the moment a California woman who faked her own kidnapping and subsequent torture realizes she's been found out.

Sherri Papini was reported missing in 2016 after heading out for a jog near her home in Northern California.

At the time, the then-34-year-old was married and a mom to two young children. She was missing for three weeks before being found injured on Thanksgiving Day at the side of highway 140 miles away from her home.

At the time, she told police that two masked Hispanic women had abducted and tortured her, chaining her up in a closet and branding her with a hot iron. Papini also alleged that the two women had held her at gunpoint, CNN detailed.

Naturally, the police investigation led an extensive search focused on locating the two alleged kidnappers. However, CNN reports that years passed and the search continually came up empty. Papini ended up receiving upwards of $30,000 from state victim compensation funds.

size-large wp-image-1263170206
Police sketches of the two Hispanic women who Papini claimed abducted her. Credit: FBI

Eventually, it was discovered that Papini had been secretly hiding out at the home of her ex-boyfriend, James Reyes, after investigators linked the DNA found on her clothing to him.

Recently released footage of her 2020 interrogation has documented the moment the now 40-year-old's elaborately woven tale eventually became unraveled - after Detectives presented her with evidence that exposed her lies.

In the footage, Detectives are heard to have told Papini they had matched the DNA on her clothing to Reyes.

During her interrogation, Papini was joined by her husband, Keith. Throughout her abduction investigation, he supported his wife and defended her credibility.

Investigators told Papini: "The reason why you lost so much weight is because you stopped eating. The reason why you got a rash on your arm was because you cleaned his house. The reason why [you had] the brand is because he went to the store, got the branding tools and branded you.  The reason why your nose is broke is because of a hockey stick."

Watch the moment unfold below:

It was also revealed to Papini in the footage that Reyes had admitted to officers that her abduction had been a hoax, and had even taken a polygraph test, the New York Post reported.

"We talked to [James Reyes]. We've been on a polygraph. We talked to everybody around him. We have the rental agreements. Phone rental, car rental agreements. We have everything that says that he said he told the truth," detectives told the mom-of-two.

During her sentencing, federal prosecutors stated that Papini's intricate hoax had forced police to investigate innocent people who may have resembled the Hispanic women she claimed kidnapped her, as well as wasting valuable resources, per CNN.

Earlier this week, Papini was sentenced to 18 months in prison. The New York Post reports that this was for one count of mail fraud and one count of making a false statement after entering into a plea deal in April that required her to pay more than $300,000 in restitution.

Just days after pleading guilty, Papini's husband filed for divorce and sole custody of the couple's son and daughter.

Featured image credit: Shasta County Sheriff's Office

Interrogation footage shows the moment Sherri Papini's kidnap lies were unraveled by police

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

Damning interrogation footage has been released showing the moment a California woman who faked her own kidnapping and subsequent torture realizes she's been found out.

Sherri Papini was reported missing in 2016 after heading out for a jog near her home in Northern California.

At the time, the then-34-year-old was married and a mom to two young children. She was missing for three weeks before being found injured on Thanksgiving Day at the side of highway 140 miles away from her home.

At the time, she told police that two masked Hispanic women had abducted and tortured her, chaining her up in a closet and branding her with a hot iron. Papini also alleged that the two women had held her at gunpoint, CNN detailed.

Naturally, the police investigation led an extensive search focused on locating the two alleged kidnappers. However, CNN reports that years passed and the search continually came up empty. Papini ended up receiving upwards of $30,000 from state victim compensation funds.

size-large wp-image-1263170206
Police sketches of the two Hispanic women who Papini claimed abducted her. Credit: FBI

Eventually, it was discovered that Papini had been secretly hiding out at the home of her ex-boyfriend, James Reyes, after investigators linked the DNA found on her clothing to him.

Recently released footage of her 2020 interrogation has documented the moment the now 40-year-old's elaborately woven tale eventually became unraveled - after Detectives presented her with evidence that exposed her lies.

In the footage, Detectives are heard to have told Papini they had matched the DNA on her clothing to Reyes.

During her interrogation, Papini was joined by her husband, Keith. Throughout her abduction investigation, he supported his wife and defended her credibility.

Investigators told Papini: "The reason why you lost so much weight is because you stopped eating. The reason why you got a rash on your arm was because you cleaned his house. The reason why [you had] the brand is because he went to the store, got the branding tools and branded you.  The reason why your nose is broke is because of a hockey stick."

Watch the moment unfold below:

It was also revealed to Papini in the footage that Reyes had admitted to officers that her abduction had been a hoax, and had even taken a polygraph test, the New York Post reported.

"We talked to [James Reyes]. We've been on a polygraph. We talked to everybody around him. We have the rental agreements. Phone rental, car rental agreements. We have everything that says that he said he told the truth," detectives told the mom-of-two.

During her sentencing, federal prosecutors stated that Papini's intricate hoax had forced police to investigate innocent people who may have resembled the Hispanic women she claimed kidnapped her, as well as wasting valuable resources, per CNN.

Earlier this week, Papini was sentenced to 18 months in prison. The New York Post reports that this was for one count of mail fraud and one count of making a false statement after entering into a plea deal in April that required her to pay more than $300,000 in restitution.

Just days after pleading guilty, Papini's husband filed for divorce and sole custody of the couple's son and daughter.

Featured image credit: Shasta County Sheriff's Office