It’s been less than a week since Sherri Papini was found beaten and chained on the side of a rural California road.
The mother of two had been missing since November 2nd, when she was snatched by two armed Hispanic women driving an SUV.
She was held captive for 22 days.
Her family was overjoyed just to find her alive—no one more so than her husband, Keith Papini.
Social media erupted in a firestorm just hours after Sherri’s recovery was announced.
Many called the incident a hoax, despite statements from Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko refuting that claim.
Sheriff Bosenko told ABC News:
“We currently have no reason to disbelieve Sherri Papini’s story.”
Still, the rumors continued.
Now Sherri’s husband is coming to her defense.
Keith shared his side of the story for the first time, telling “Good Morning America” new, disturbing details about that fateful Thanksgiving day.
“My first sight was my wife in a hospital bed, her face covered in bruises ranging from yellow to black because of repeated beatings, the bridge of her nose broken.”
He went on to describe the horrors she endured:
“Her now emaciated body of 87 pounds was covered in multi colored bruises, severe burns, red rashes, and chain markings.”
Keith Papini continued on to say that her long blonde hair had been chopped off, and her skin had been branded.
She had sustained injuries from being tossed onto the side of the road:
“She was thrown from a vehicle with a chain around her waist, attached to her wrists and a bag over her head.”
Sheriff Bosenko confirmed Keith’s statement as true, according to People, though he noted that they were still investigating whether she had been thrown from the vehicle.
Keith said in the statement that he released the details in hopes it would put an end to the rumors:
“I do not see a purpose in addressing each preposterous lie.
Instead, may I give you a glimpse of the mixture of horror and elation that was my experience of reuniting with the love of my life and mother of our children.”
He ended the statement asking for their privacy in this trying time, and said they are now on a “road of healing.”
ABC News has more on the story: