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Redding mayor gets a phone call from Sherri and Keith Papini

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REDDING, Calif. - Redding Mayor Missy McArthur was able to talk to Sherri and Keith Papini on Friday.

"Hallelujah! Best thing ever. It's the best Thanksgiving," McArthur said with excitement.

After missing for three weeks Sherri was found on Thursday, Nov. 24. The Shasta County Sheriffs' Office was notified that Sherri had been released from her captor, or captors, off of I-5 in Yolo County. Sherri was bound with restraints but was still able to summon help from a passing motorist near the County Road 17 off-ramp.

A day later McArthur received an unexpected phone call, it was Keith and Sherri Papini.

"Sherri and Keith called me to say, 'Thanks for the community's help'," McArthur noted. "I feel blessed they accept the community was there for them."

McArthur noted the only other time she had spoken with Keith was before the City Council meeting - where he talked about the continuing search efforts for Sherri - and to help coordinate the balloon release.

McArthur said she was so excited to hear Sherri's voice.

"Overjoyed, overjoyed that she was able to talk and give thanks," she explained.

However, it was a very emotional phone call.

"Sherri, of course, was tearful on the phone, even talking about it now I'm tearful, I mean there is just nothing better," McArthur noted. Then as her eyes started to fill with tears she said, "I was trying not to cry and now I am getting that way again."

McArthur wiped her tears and is glad to know that Papini family is whole again.

She noted just for a few hours that she too felt the pain Keith was going through. McArthur explained years ago her son was with family friends on Trinity Lake. The boat her son was on ran out of gas. No one could find them. She said it was one of the worst night of her life as she searched for her son. They were found, but she said it was tough not being able to do much but search.

"And I can't imagine what Keith went through, for three weeks, that kind of pain and angst," she emotionally said.

McArthur is inspired by the people who never stopped searching for Sherri, especially Keith.

"I just want to thank the community for not giving up," she noted. "Keith never gave up hope and that was an inspiration to me and I'm sure to the community."

The Shasta County Sheriff's Office noted they have been working nonstop to figure out why and who took Sherri.

Anyone with information can call 530-245-6540 or the Major Crimes Unit 530-245-6135. Tips can also be submitted at mcu@co.shasta.ca.us.

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