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Keith Papini, the husband of California woman Sherri Papini, 34, who went on a jog and mysteriously disappeared a little over three weeks ago, is speaking out for the first time since the mother of two was found bound beaten on the side of the road around 4:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving day.

On Tuesday, Keith Papini, released a statement to “Good Morning America” about Sherri and the series of events.

Keith started of by saying, “The first thing I would like to address is the overwhelming amount of gratitude our entire family has for the thousands of people that have been on this torturous journey with us. I cannot possibly name each and every person, although their names are eternally etched in our hearts.”

Keith thanked friends, family, officials, medical personnel and everyone involved in the journey.

“Thank you to the many incredible humans that have never known Sherri that facilitated in sharing our heartbreak across the globe,” he said. “Sherri has always captured my heart, and it is no surprise that she has captured the hearts not only through the country, but throughout the world.”

He went on to discuss how free speech and how “the double edged sword” of technology “provides immediate gratification” and how it played a huge part in the search, for both good and bad reasons.

“I am grateful for this system, as it is what spread my wife’s face quickly throughout the world, gaining the attention of thousands,” Keith said. “The unfortunate side is that some people have been sitting in angering, expectant positions, waiting for the gory details.”

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“Rumors, assumptions, lies and hate have been both exhausting and disgusting.”

He then described how Sherri looked after she was found when he saw her in the hospital, adding that she weighed just 87 pounds.

Keith said:

Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see upon my arrival at the hospital, nor the details of the true hell I was about to hear. The mental prison I was in over the past three weeks was shattered when my questions of my wife’s reality became known.

The officers warned me to brace myself. 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.

Her now emaciated body of 87 pounds was covered in multi colored bruises, severe burns, red rashes, and chain markings. Her signature long, blonde hair had been chopped off. She has been branded, and I could feel the rise of her scabs under my fingers.

Keith added that Sherri “suffered incredibly” and discussed how thrilled he was to have her back but said he was sickened by her injuries.

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“I was filled with so much relief and revulsion at once,” he said. “My Sherri suffered tremendously, and all the visions swirling in your heads of her appearance, I assure you, are not as graphic and gruesome as the reality.”

The suspects involved, believed to be two Hispanic women, are still at large.

You can read Keith’s entire statement here.

Melissa Gotleib is a content editor at Rare.
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