You may have missed the sordid story of Sherri Papini as it played out low-key over the last few years; in summary, the married California mother of two said she was kidnapped in late 2016 by two Hispanic women, but was found to have made the entire thing up as a cover story while she stayed with an ex-boyfriend.
She was sentenced this week to 18 months in prison for her crimes. The Shasta County, Calif. Sheriff's Office, meanwhile, released footage of her August 2020 interrogation in which investigators revealed that they knew she had been lying.
When detectives returned to the room, they gave Sherri one last chance to have her husband leave. He stayed, and Sherri began repeating her assertion that she didn't want her kidnapper found.
"We're not going to find her," a detective responds.
Then, the dynamic shifts. Detectives launched into a play-by-play of how Sherri Papini faked her own kidnapping by asking ex-boyfriend James Reyes to pick her up in Redding and hide her in his Costa Mesa home. DNA found on Sherri's body was matched to Reyes, who readily admitted to the plot when investigators tracked him down.
"The DNA alone says it's him, and when we talked to him, confronted him with the DNA, he told us what happened," the detective says. "He 100% told us what happened. He gave us details that nobody else would know."
Sherri's husband, Keith, filed for divorce and custody of their children this past April, a month after she was formally arrested by the FBI for fraud, having wasted years of law enforcement resources on her case.
Here's some video of the interrogation:
The 30-minute video is worth watching in its entirety, in part because it's a great warning against doing anything at all like this but also because it's a great peek into the careful, methodical way in which law enforcement often solve crimes:
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