Two Humboldt Women Help Search for Young Mom Believed by Family to Have Been Abducted Near Redding
When a young mom from Redding, Sherri Papini, disappeared last Wednesday while on a jog, volunteers wanted to help search. Two women from Southern Humboldt, Diana Totten and Aurora Studebaker, were asked to help coordinate the volunteer search in this case which is receiving international attention.
Papini, had links to Humboldt County as she worked occasionally in the area, was last seen to be jogging on Sunrise Drive in a more rural area of Redding. She was seen wearing a pink jogging top by several witnesses around 11 a.m.
When her husband arrived home from work after 5 p.m., he discovered that she hadn’t returned and she hadn’t picked up their two children from daycare. He activated a tracking app on her phone and traced it to the corner of Sunrise and Old Oregon Trail. The phone was there, but Sherri Papini wasn’t. He then called law enforcement. He has told media that he believes she was abducted.
Trudy Nickens Director of the Nor-Cal Alliance for the missing began working with the family and asked Totten and Studebaker to assist with the search on Friday.
Nickens explained, “After we searched a full day and covered a large search area,…I felt it was important to bring Diana and her team in because of their high level of experience. When…[the volunteers] arrived, we then worked under her command.”Totten and Studebaker have a history of doing search and rescue in Humboldt and Trinity Counties. Totten said that at least 100 volunteers showed up to help search. “[This] included K9 units, ATV’s, two private helicopters, a private drone as well as volunteers on horseback,” she explained. “We worked closely with the family and friends of the family. We also worked with Nor Cal Alliance for Missing Persons and several others groups who set up food and parking for the searchers.”
Totten said that the community is very supportive. “We were really amazed by the amount of people that showed up for this search effort,” she said.
Totten and Studebaker organized the search into teams of ten in order to cover grids in a one mile radius of Papini’s home. Then the next day the team covered an expanded area–a three mile radius. Teams were taught to call in possible evidence finds.”A group of people with evidentiary training would follow up and make sure no evidence was tainted,” explained Totten. However, nothing pertinent was found.
“We ruled out that [Papini] might be injured or needing help close by,” said Totten. “Now it goes back to the law enforcement continuing their investigation.”
However, even if Papini disappeared in Shasta County, Totten thought it important to point out that Humboldt County residents should be aware of the situation. “Sherri did have a job over the last few years that brought her into Humboldt County,” Totten said. “She worked for a company that had a branch in Eureka. She would travel from Redding to Eureka every so often to work here for a short time.” Even though Papini no longer works for the company, that is a connection to this area, Totten said. She asks locals to be alert for anything that might relate to this case.
“Family and friends are absolutely devastated,” she said. “It is impossible to imagine what it is like to come home from work and find a family member missing with no clues.”
Sherri Papini is a 34-year-old, white female with blonde hair and blue eyes. She is 5’04” tall and weighs 100 pounds. If anyone has any information the Shasta Sheriff’s Department states, “Calls can be placed to dispatch 24 hours a day at 530-245-6540, or at the Major Crimes Unit 530-245-6135. Tips can also be submitted at firstname.lastname@example.org.”