Community welcomes Sherri Papini home

Redding, Calif. (KRCR/CNN) — The Redding community packed the lawn in front of the Redding civic auditorium Monday morning to welcome Sherri Papini home.

The mother of two told police she was jogging near Old Oregon Trail on November 2nd when she was abducted by two armed Hispanic women driving a dark SUV.

Police say she was released on thanksgiving morning about 150 miles from where she was taken.

KRCR’s Tiffany Wong spoke with several people about why they chose to come out

Dozens of people, many dressed in pink (Sherri Papini’s) favorite color gathered to take a Christmas picture celebrating Sherri’s safe return home.

Local resident Debbi Flanigan said, “This was wonderful, I think it brought the community together. We all needed and wanted to support the papini family.”

“I thought this was a fabulous idea to have something positive to give to the Papini family,” added Terry Hooper.

And with the mixed feelings and countless rumors on social media since Sherri has been found, those who came out wanted to show the Papini family they stand by them.

“All the negative stuff has been bad, and I don’t think the community thinks that way–I know I don’t,” said Valerie Mayne. For some, this is personal. “I just watch the news and hardly go to any of these events-vigils or anything like this is the first one I’ve ever gone to. And I think it was because when I was 16 I was abducted into my own car,” added Mayne.

Kidnap ransom consultant Cameron Gamble and Mayor Missy McArthur also thanked community. “Everyone had an absolute purpose in this, and you made it personal and you took it personal, so everyone here gets to pat themselves on the back and say Sherri’s home because of our efforts,” said Gamble.

Mayor McArthur said, “We never lost hope, we kept working, We made it happen. We’re so proud of our community, and thank you so much.”

But while the suspects are still on the loose, many are still on edge. Debbie Flanigan said, “I have a small dog, and I used to walk her every night, never afraid. But I don’t walk her now.”

Papini’s husband says when he was reunited with her at the hospital her face was covered in bruises.

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