Local News

A ‘message’ burned into her skin: Sheri Papini’s abductor’s cruellest act

Californian investigators say only “a very sick person” could be responsible for such torture.
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Authorities have claimed they felt “blindsided” by the public statement made by the husband of abducted Californian woman Sheri Papini, which went into minute detail about the horrific torture she endured during her ordeal.

On Tuesday, in a statement to Good Morning America, Keith Papini said since his wife was returned to him on Thanksgiving morning after being kidnapped for three weeks, it was obvious the 34-year-old mother-of-two had been starved to a shocking 39 kilos, badly beaten and had her head shaved and skin burned.

Mr Papini’s revelation of explicit details has shocked police involved in the investigation who say there are some details they wanted to keep under wraps.

“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,” lead investigator Lieutenant Anthony Bertain told KCKRTV.

However, Bertain sympathised with Mr Papini’s eagerness to address the media amid the negativity and suspicion aimed at his family. Bertain called the hasty statement a “hurdle” but said, “there’s surprises in all investigations, so this just wasn’t good timing”.

Sherri Papini was abducted and held for nearly three weeks.

Shasta County sheriff Tom Bosenko also addressed Mr Papini’s revelations, confirming that Mrs Papini had some kind of “message” burned into her skin.

Mr Bosenko wouldn’t elaborate on the brand’s appearance but did say: “It is not a symbol, but it was a message.”

A former FBI special agent, Brad Garrett, told Good Morning America he considers the markings a way for her kidnappers to destroy her identity and assert control over her.

“The branding is so she will become part of their group; they want to eliminate her past. They cut her hair, they simply starved her, they beat her, maybe torture, etc. And it’s to make her part of whatever they are,” Garrett told the US breakfast show.

Mr Bosenko said only “a very sick person” could be responsible for such cruelty.

“Obviously, a very sick person who may have wanted to not only to cut it off to change her physical appearance, but also as to humiliate them, wear her down,” he said.

Sheri was abducted after leaving her home in Redding, California for a late morning jog, CNN reports.

The California woman was found bound and badly beaten on Thanksgiving morning in Yolo County, about 225kms from where she went missing, police said.

Ms Papini has reportedly told police she had been thrown from a dark SUV by her alleged abductors, who she claimed were two Hispanic women armed with a gun.

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