Two Humboldt Women Help Search for Young Mom Believed by Family to Have Been Abducted Near Redding

Sherri PapiniWhen 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.”

Diana Totten (1 of 1)

Diana Totten [File photo by Kym Kemp]

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.”

Aurora Studebaker

Aurora Studebaker starting a fire. [File photo by Kym Kemp]

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”



  • How horrible! I hope shes ok!
    Makes me want to put a tracking app on my phone and my wife’s phone.

  • Sherri is a wonderful woman. Full of life and one of the kindest women you will ever meet. The friends she has in Humboldt are all pulling for her safe return. We love you Sherri.

  • So Many missing people all around this Northern California area it makes me Sick to hear another person is Missing. I live in Humboldt County and will definitely keep my eyes and ears open. May this person be found safe and unharmed I pray and be reunited with her family and loved ones.

    • Sharon—- Because the fictitious God wasn’t with her when the monster grabbed her and murdered her….According to idiot christians—God knew this monster would kidnap her, he watched it happen—and did NOTHING !!! There is no superman in the sky…… So sad a story—-condolences to her family….

  • Crest Mouth Watch

    This makes two missing women in one week. Blue Angels will be praying for them send in the Seals .

  • I hope she is found safe and thank you once again Kym for the excellent report, does anyone know the area of Sunrise dr. well? is there any bodies of water or cliffs around there? How about boulders or berry bushes? I find it very strange that her cell phone was left behind, searchers should continue searching areas previously searched, are extra volunteers needed?

  • I do know what it is like. I am living it but without the support. I hope she is found soon and can be reunited with her loved ones.

  • What did she do in the Humboldt area ?

  • I hope she’s found soon,and really hope everyone takes note of these two amazing women we are blessed to have in our community!!! Please take a moment to flow some cash to your local volunteer fire dept.
    Thank you Diana and Aurora!!!! You make me proud to live here

  • She is pretty small; I hope the searchers looked for any signs of mountain lions in the area.

    • Its possible at her size but it would only be the 7th time since 1890 that an adult was killed by a lion, in all of north america.

      • and if it where an animal attack there would be plenty of evidence, I do know that Shasta county has many mysterious disappearances, does any one know of other cases in that particular area?

        • Tera Smith, 1998. Clear suspect, unable to charge and/or convict. Zink lives close enough, in Anderson, to be a suspect. Tera dated Sherri’s husband as teenager rumor has it, so there could be a connection. Wonder if perp had grudge.

          • Case closed , job well done


          • WOW. VERY INTERESTING IF SHERRI’S HUSBAND DATED TERA IN THOSE DAYS. Can this be confirmed? Keith, Sherri’s husband, seems genuinely concerned and NOT suspicious, however, the interesting part is… that T.Z. may have known of both Tera and Sherri as teens..and that both girls knew some of the same people, AT ALL. Can you elaborate please?? How did you hear of Tera dating Keith?? What other connections may have existed back in 1998 between the group of teens and T.Z. who was 29 back then…and way too old to date any of them legally?

          • What is your source of information that Tera dated Sherri’s husband?

            • You should direct that question toward “Careful” who posted the statement on Nov. 8 (a few comments above this one). It says “rumor has it”…so it’s clearly not confirmed. I asked”Careful” to elaborate in my above question, but he/she hasn’t responded yet. I DID NOT MAKE THE STATEMENT. I was asking about the statement posted by “Careful”‘ …Scroll up a bit and you can read his/her original comment from Nov. 8th.

              • IF YOU READ MY POST/Questions thoroughly, you will see that I was asking the same question as you. I ALSO asked “Careful” how he/she heard of Sherri’s husband dating Tera. “CAREFUL”, in their comment from Nov.8th…4 posts above this one) made the comment about them dating…and used the phrase “Rumor has it”….which indicates that it’s NOT CONFIRMED INFORMATION. It was NOT a statement made by me. I was simply inquiring about the statement, as you were. 🙂

          • CAREFUL-Will you please elaborate on your above comment about Sherri’ s husband dating Tera Lynn Smith??? What “rumor” makes you think they dated??? I’m not thinking Keith is suspicious….but T.Z.???….definitely. if you don’t mind, please explain. Thanks.

      • Thanks. It seems like wildlife is getting stranger; more desperate for food and water resources as climate change affects become more apparent. Just looking for other possible scenarios, other than the obvious of what the husband initially suspected. I am sure the fine professional s&r team would have their senses with them to look for any kind of evidence.

    • I wondered about the mountain lions too. Would have found drag marks, though I would suspect.

    • A mountain lion in broad daylight attacks a woman in a populated area??? Million to one shot….Either a monster grabbed her—or a driver hit her, panicked and hid her body somewhere……

  • Hi Diana & Aurora,

    Thank you for your time in helping with the search for Sherri Papini. I’m glad to hear that Humboldt County has her on their radar. Do you have enough flyers and volunteers to get her picture out across the coast? Now that a Lewiston woman is missing, we need as much public awareness as we can. I live in Redding. My son played baseball with Keith all through high school.

  • Another Blonde female under 5’9 and less than 140lbs…with ties to humboldt? Sounds like a repeat of so many lost and missing in that area. … Someone has a taste for dainty white women….hope I’m wrong.

    • That’s what I was thinking, too. Quite a few unsolved missing slight build, blonde, younger women cases. And there are a few in Southern Oregon, too. Trucker, delivery driver? So damn sad…

  • They definitely have the right people helping to look for her.god bless you all,and hoping for her safe return!!

  • I suspect a totally different story, just a hunch!!!!!!If correct, she’s fine!!😉

  • Once again i would like to share this information with those that are interested in missing people under mysterious circumstances, you can skip to minute 6:05 to get straight to the presentation

  • does anyone have a contact link for Diana or Aurora?

  • Anon Forrest we can get into more details link me at my email

  • Any word on her??

  • Phone with earbuds and hair. Catapulted from victim hit by car or perp ?

  • Call a medium of physic it’s how u will solve it faster

  • Barbara Pelletier

    If she had her hair pulled back in a pony tail (most likely), when her captor pulled the ear buds off, that would have pulled out several strands of hair. For those who don’t understand, if someone took her, they would have gotten rid of the phone and ear buds. If they kept the phone, they would be tracked.

  • Have they found her yet? What are we doing to find this poor lady. How can I help!

  • It wasn’t a mountain lion or any other kind of animal, because the scent dogs would have followed the scent and identified the animal fast.

  • She got herself found yesterday, on Thanksgiving, I read on the BBC:

  • Lennie Lefler your an idiot and a hateful uneducated one at that. By the way she is safe and God was with her!

  • EXCUSE me, what the fuck is wrong with all of you people “tracking” your wives. Jesus Christ. Sexism at its finest.

  • YOU’RE ALL IDIOTS. This story is bullshit. She faked her own abduction in 2006. The bitch is crazy.

  • Pingback: Everything We Know So Far about the Supposed Abduction of 'Super Mom' Sherri Papini | Heat Street

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