Keith Papini says his wife suffered "both intense physical agony and severe mental torture" while held captive for 22 days, and anyone spreading "disgusting" rumors "should be ashamed of their malicious, subhuman behavior." In a statement to ABC News, the husband of Sherri Papini—who flagged down a motorist in Yolo County, Calif., on Thanksgiving after disappearing Nov. 2—says he felt "horror and elation" when he first saw his wife at a hospital. "Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see … nor the details of the true hell I was about to hear," he says. Sherri—weighing just 87 pounds—had been branded; was covered in bruises, burns, and rashes; her nose was broken; and her hair was chopped off, he says.
Hours earlier, Papini had been "thrown from a vehicle with a chain around her waist, attached to her wrists and a bag over her head," Keith Papini says. She used the bag to flag down a motorist after freeing one of her hands, he adds. Some will believe the abduction was "some sort of hoax, plan to gain money, or some fabricated race war," but "I do not see a purpose in addressing each preposterous lie," he says. Sheriff Tom Bosenko—who has confirmed that disparaging comments about Hispanics were posted online under Papini's maiden name—also confirmed details of Papini's condition to ABC News. He adds interviews with Papini are continuing to gain more information about her captors, described as two Hispanic women in a dark SUV. (Police earlier said Papini's story holds up.)