YOLO COUNTY — The steady hum of Interstate 5, a quiet church and a few scattered homes among empty fields.
This is where investigators say a nightmare that dragged on for three weeks ended, when a passing driver found Sherri Papini alive.
Dispatch audio of the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department reveals the young mother was found battered and chained to something along Northbound I-5 near County Road 17 in Yolo County.
That’s 140 miles from the Shasta County community where she vanished while jogging.
One woman who claims she saw Papini on Thanksgiving morning on the side of the road posted to Facebook:
“I couldn’t stop in time to help you this morning but I did pull over and report to police that I saw you by the road and was certain you needed help,” she said.
She added that she didn’t know if her call helped but was thankful Papini is safe.
Now as investigators search for possible abductors, two Hispanic women armed with a handgun, so much is unknown.
For starters: why was the mother of two taken? What happened to her? And how did she end up on the side of the freeway so far from home?
“It kind of, like, bothered me a little bit because it is so close to my house, it is within walking distance of my house,” said Kelsi Coleman.
Coleman lives near the spot where Papini’s alleged abductors left her.
Like many, she wants to know what happened and understands things don’t always end this well.
“Mostly it is just, kidnap and then found a dead body couple months later, but now we found her and she’s alive,” Coleman said.
Many in the Shasta County community are now questioning Papini’s story.
Sheriff Tom Bosenko said they have no reason to disbelieve her, and it’s unclear whether she knew her kidnappers.
Investigators have also issued 20 search warrants related to the case.
Detectives are looking through her computer, investigating old relationships and they’re also looking for surveillance video.
It’s all in hopes of figuring out what happened to Sherri Papini.