Sherri Papini, the California mom who was found alive after vanishing three weeks ago, was released by her captors on a rural road early Thursday morning, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko says. The sheriff told a press conference Thursday afternoon that Papini had been bound with restraints when she was dumped on a road near Interstate 5 in Yolo County, but was able to flag down a passing car, KCRA reports. He says the sheriff's office learned at around 4:30am that she had been found. The sheriff's office says police are seeking a dark-colored SUV with two armed Hispanic women. Papini was hospitalized for injuries that the sheriff says are not life-threatening. The sheriff says police are "overjoyed with the fact Sherri has been located and reunited with her family."
Police believe the 34-year-old Papini, who has two young children, was kidnapped while jogging, though no details have been released on the motive or on her time in captivity. The Record Searchlight reports that the sheriff says a reward offered in the case played no role in Papini's release. "This is a Thanksgiving beyond belief for all of us," family spokesman Rod Rodriguez posted on the Facebook group Redding Crime 2.0. "Although I have no details yet we are joyous that Sherri is alive and Keith is reunited with her at the hospital." (Read more missing woman stories.)