Papini witness; “I pulled off on to the shoulder on I-5 and I made a 911 call.”

Redding, Cali. — The woman who first spotted Sherri Papini in Yolo County, says she is amazed she survived. NBC5 is the only local station, to hear her story.

“I pulled off on to the shoulder on I-5 and I made a 9-1-1 call and I said ‘you know I drove past this person who must really need help,'” Alison Sutton recalls.

Alison Sutton had been driving for about 8 hours already, when she saw someone on the side of the road early Thanksgiving morning.

“I see this blonde woman waving what looks like a brown flannel shirt up and down desperately trying to flag someone down,” Sutton says she was startled.

“I could have hit her,” she says, “because she was so close to the side of the road.”

Not knowing what was the matter, Sutton continued down the road until she saw a road sign that indicated where she was. That’s when she called 911. It wasn’t until hours later that a Shasta County Sheriff’s Deputy informed her she was among the first to see the missing mother of 2 alive.

Now looking back, Sutton says she wishes she had done more. Still, she’s amazed Papini was brought home.

“It’s such a miracle that she was able to get free and to be able to get back to her family,” Sutton says, “I know it’s going to make the Thanksgiving holiday more memorable for me every year because of it and I’m sure it’s going to mean all that much more for her family too.”

Sutton who is a survivor of domestic abuse, says it’s likely Papini will be dealing with her trauma for awhile. She cautions people from jumping to conclusions until all the facts are released.


Kristin Hosfelt anchors NBC5 News weeknights at 5, 6 and 11. Originally from the Bay Area, Kristin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from San Jose State University.

She came to KOBI-TV/NBC5 from Bangor, Maine where she was the evening news anchor. Kristin has won multiple journalism awards including Best Feature Reporting in the State of Maine. In 2017, her investigation on lead pipes in Medford’s water system was named Best News Series by the Oregon Association of Broadcasters.

When Kristin is not sharing the news, she’s traveling, hunting down the best burrito, or buried in a Jodi Picoult novel. She’s also a Green Bay Packers shareholder; if you see her out and about she’d be happy to tell you the story of how a California girl became a cheesehead.

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