Mother-of-two Sherri Papini had been reported to police by her family before disappearing while out jogging
The family of Sherri Papini, who disappeared for 22 days last November, have called reports of earlier police investigations into the mother-of-two "victim-blaming at its most egregious".
Papini went missing for more than three weeks last year only to reappear on Thanksgiving morning. According to her husband KEith, she was found with a chain around her waist and wrists, a broken nose and her hair "chopped" off as she flagged down a driver 150 miles from her home.
She told police she was taken by two Hispanic women while she was out for a job one morning, but has not yet spoken publicly about her ordeal.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Papini was previously investigation for suspected transgressions by her family, a prior investigation which police say was entirely separate to her disappearance.
Between 2000 and 2003, Sherri's family previously reported her to police for alleged misconduct, claiming she was hurting herself and blaming her mother Loretta Graef. It was also alleged she vandalised her father's home before, according to documents obtained by the Sacramento Bee.
"There is a lot still unknown about her assailants," Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said after Sherri’s return.
He added they have no reason "not to believe" her account and said the earlier probe has not influenced their ongoing investigation, while her family have blamed "clickbait media" on "victim blaming".
"Sherri Papini and her family are the very recent victims of an extremely violent crime that has painfully and dramatically changed the course of their lives forever," the family said in a statement via spokesperson Nicole Wool.
"It is shameful that a media outlet would intentionally exploit Sherri and Keith Papini and their young children's trauma for the sole purpose of clickbait and selling papers."
"It is our hope that the media will honour their privacy as they work through this difficult time."