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Prosecutors: Woman faked kidnapping, defrauded California

Arrest (FILE)
Posted at 10:55 AM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 14:42:27-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California woman whose disappearance and mysterious reappearance set off a frantic three-week search more than five years ago has been arrested.

Sherri Papini was arrested Thursday on charges of lying to federal agents about being kidnapped and defrauding the state’s victim compensation board of $30,000.

She was found in November 2016 after days of searching in California and several nearby states, with bindings on her body and injuries including a “brand” on her right shoulder.

She told authorities at the time that she had been kidnapped at gunpoint by two Hispanic women.

In reality, authorities said, she was staying with a former boyfriend.

Papini's family criticized the way she was arrested. The family said Friday that she was “ambushed” in front of her children Thursday. They said she would have turned herself in if asked.

The family did not address the charges against her.