As each day dragged into the next, Keith Papini desperately tried not to give up hope.
He’d last seen his wife, Sherri, when he left for work on November 2, 2016.
But when he returned that afternoon, expecting to be greeted by the blonde “super mum”, their Californian home was completely empty.
His concern quickly escalated when he discovered she also hadn’t picked up their four-year-old and two-year-old kids from preschool.
Using the Find My Phone app, Keith traced the 34-year-old’s phone and found it discarded on a popular walking trail next to her headphones, 1.5 kilometres from home.
He immediately reported her missing, fearing she’d been abducted while out for her daily run.
Within days, Sherri’s story dominated headlines around the world, her beaming smile and doe eyes splashed across every major news site. As hundreds of locals formed search parties, a reward was offered for information that would lead to Sherri’s safe return.
An emotional Keith also begged for any help to bring her home to their kids, who missed her immensley.
But as three weeks stretched on, all hope seemed lost.
Then, on day 22, a miracle happened.
On November 24, in the early hours of the morning, Sherri was found by motorists on the side of a highway more than 200km from where she’d last been seen.
Distressed and emaciated, Sherri’s arms were tied behind her back.
Her signature blonde hair had been hacked off and she had lost a lot of weight.