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Sherri Papini sobbed when confronted with evidence of her kidnapping hoax

Dramatic new video shows the moment California “super mom” Sherri Papini was exposed for lying about being abducted and tortured while she was actually hiding out with her ex-boyfriend.

Papini, 40, broke down sobbing when two detectives from the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office told her that they had found DNA evidence that belonged to her ex, James Reyes, and that he had passed a polygraph test when telling them what had actually happened, according to video of the interview, obtained by KRON4.

The clip is from Aug. 13, 2020 — over three years after she claimed she was kidnapped while jogging then held captive. She was joined in the room by her husband, Keith Papini, who had loyally stood by his wife and defended her credibility for years.

The detectives asked the mother of two multiple times if she wanted her husband to leave the room before they “moved on to the next stage of things.”

California mother Sherri Papini broke down in tears in front of Shasta County Sheriff’s Office investigators after she was presented with evidence that she staged her kidnapping hoax.
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

They left the couple alone in the room for several minutes, during which time Sherri Papini tells her husband that she “doesn’t want them to find her,” referring to one of the Hispanic women she claimed abducted her, video shows.  “I don’t want her to be arrested. I don’t want to press charges on her. I don’t want them to find her.”

Keith Papini, confused, asks her why: “Honey, there’s obviously something going on here. There’s obviously something you’re not telling me. This is going to be really bad if you do not tell me.”

Still lying, Sherri Papini responds that the woman had saved her life, and was the reason she gets to see her children every night.

Papini and her husband Keith Papini met with investigators on Aug. 13, 2020.
Shasta County Sheriff's Office/LOCAL NEWS X/TMX/Mega

“No matter what happens, do you think this just sits here?” Keith Papini later adds. “Whatever happened is over. And it doesn’t matter what you say. The girl is going to get in trouble.”

Clearly concerned, he then told his wife, “You’re not making sense … to a point where I’m getting scared now.”

Detectives return to the room and then drop the bombshell evidence that would prove Sherri Papini lied to authorities, the video shows.

“The DNA that was on you belongs to James Reyes,” an investigator says.

Keith Papini holds his hands in his lap as the detectives unravel Papini’s tall tale.

The meeting with police came over three years after Papini claimed she was abducted while jogging in Redding, California.
Andrew Seng/The Sacramento Bee via AP, File

“We talked to [James Reyes]. We’ve been on a polygraph. We talked to everybody around him. We have the rental agreements. Phone rental, car rental agreements. We have everything that says that he said he told the truth,” the detective tells Papini.

“Everything, you’ve told us so many truths in this situation. The reason why you can describe the room is because you stayed in the room, in the dark, for hours, for days on end.”

He continues on, dismantling her story piece by piece.

“The reason why you lost so much weight is because you stopped eating,” he says. “The reason why you got a rash on your arm was because you cleaned his house. The reason why [you had] the brand is because he went to the store, got the branding tools and branded you.  The reason why your nose is broke is because of a hockey stick 

Police sketches of the two Hispanic women who Papini claimed abducted her in 2016.
FBI via AP

The cop says he knows these things because the ex passed a polygraph test saying Papini had asked her to “come get her” in a rented car.

Papini sinks her face into her hands and begins crying out “No,” as the detective continues. “There’s no way it’s James,” she said.

She then tells the detectives that she had not seen Reyes in the years since his brother died. Reyes, who lived in Southern California, used to date Papini and the two had been friends since they were young.

“He told us what happened,” one of the detectives tells Papini at one point, “and gave us details nobody else would know.” 

Papini asked the investigators to not search for or press charges against the abductors.
Shasta County Sheriff's Office/LOCAL NEWS X/TMX/Mega

Papini was sentenced on Monday to serve 18 months in prison on one count of mail fraud and one count of making a false statement after she agreed to a plea deal in April that also requires her to pay more than $300,000 in restitution. 

Two days after she pleaded guilty, Keith Papini filed for divorce.

Papini vanished for 20 days in the fall of 2016, reappearing suddenly on Thanksgiving Day along Interstate 5 in rural Yolo County, California with a chain around her waist and a “brand” on her shoulder.

Papini emerged on Thanksgiving Day in 2016 after going missing for three weeks with her kidnapping story.
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Papini was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the kidnapping hoax.
Shasta County Sheriff's Office

She told cops she was abducted by a pair of armed women while she was running near her home on Nov. 2, 2016. She claimed the fictional duo tortured her for more than three weeks — and eventually convinced her family and friends that the ordeal was true. 

For years she lied about the made-up ordeal until prosecutors determined she was with her ex at his apartment in Costa Mesa. 

Prior to her sentencing, an emotional Papini read a prepared statement fessing up to her crimes, according to the Sacramento Bee.

“I am guilty of lying. I am guilty of dishonor. I stand before you willing to accept. To repent and to concede. I trust in this court. I trust the officers handling my release and I trust in you, your honor, to see me, to hear me,” she told the court.