Sherri Papini Now: Where Is The Perfect Wife Criminal Today?

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Sherri Papini Perfect Wife

Perfect Wife: The Mysterious Disappearance of Sherri Papini is Hulu's latest viral documentary crime series, this one puts the spotlight on Sherri Papini and her 2016 kidnapping hoax.

Born on June 11, 1982, Sherri married her husband Keith Papini in October 2009 and had one son and one daughter together.

They separated in March 2022 after Sherri was arrested while Keith filed for divorce and sole child custody in April.

What Did Perfect Wife's Sherri Papini Do?

34-year-old Sherri Papini disappeared on November 2, 2016 while jogging near her home in Redding, California.

After returning from work at Best Buy on November 2, 2016, Keith Papini became concerned for his wife's safety and used Apple's Find My iPhone application to track her wife to an intersection around a mile from home (via Inquisitr).

Just three weeks later on Thanksgiving (November 24), Papini resurfaced after supposedly being freed by her captors at 4:30 a.m. that morning, 150 miles (240 km) from the site of her disappearance.

According to CBS, Sherri Papini told Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko in interviews how two Hispanic women with covered faces took her. She alleged that she was physically abused in captivity and even branded.

Local police began a search for a "dark-colored SUV with two Hispanic females armed with a handgun" (via Redding Record Searchlight). The investigation included many search warrants, examining phone records, bank accounts, and social media files, and DNA analysis of two samples found on her.

One of these samples was eventually revealed to match her ex-boyfriend Jamies Reyes as it was revealed in March 2022 that she had gone to stay with him during the time she was supposedly kidnapped (via SFGATE).

Messages recovered from Papini's phone revealed "flirtatious text" interactions she had with two other men during her marriage. One of the two described Papini as "attention-hungry" and noted her past of fabricating tales of abuse from her family, parents, and husband.

Papini's ex-boyfriend Reyes confirmed he helped her run away after he contacted him "out of the blue" after many years of knowing each other with claims of being abused and raped as she now sought to escape.

Papini was also said to have profited from a $49,070 GoFundMe campaign which went toward paying her various bills and personal expenses, while she also received $30,000 from the California Victim Compensation Board.

Where Is Perfect Wife's Sherri Papini Today?

Sherri Papini in court
Sherri Papini

Papini was arrested for making false statements to federal law enforcement and mail fraud on March 3, 2022. According to the U.S. attorney's office (via the Los Angeles Times), Papini had "been voluntarily staying with a former boyfriend in Costa Mesa and had harmed herself to support her false statements.”

She was released on a $120,000 bail bond after surrendering her passport on March 9, 2022. Facing up to 25 years in prison, six weeks later Papini signed a plea deal admitting to the hoax and was sentenced to 18 months in prison with a $300,000 fine in September 2022 (via BBC News).

According to People, Papini was released from prison in August 2023 at age 41 and placed in the residential reentry facility in Sacramento County.

Record Searchlight revealed her ex-husband Keith Papini was successful in his claims for sole custody during their divorce as Sherri is now only allowed to visit her children in one-hour visits supervised by a court-appointed professional.

People shared details of Papini's interactions with her daughter which are kept by a monitor, which confirmed she is now writing two books and building a foundation to further supervised visitation centers that help families. 

According to the Daily Mail, in 2024, Papini is now "living a luxury lifestyle bankrolled by her wealthy new lover." The report stated she is living in a $755,000 mansion funded by her current boyfriend Shawn Hibdon, a widowed auto dealer from Orlando, California who drives a brand-new Jeep SUV.

The outlet continued to note how she now has a normal routine and job as a consultant at the Los Angeles-based literary agency Lady Moon Entertainment.

The false kidnapping victim is said to be fighting for more access to her children - Tyler, 14, and Violet, 12. This is all while she is allegedly demanding $30,000 from her ex-husband in legal fees after she received just $10,000 in their divorce - Sherrir and Keith divorce proceedings and court battle received national news coverage in November 2023.

The story of Papini's hoax garnered mass media attention at the time and was adapted into the 2023 Lifetime TV movie Hoax: The Kidnapping of Sherri Papini in which Jaime King took on the leading role.

Her story is most recently the focus of Hulu's Perfect Wife and was even referenced in Eminem's 2024 song "Houdini" as the infamous artist rapped how "the kidnappin' never did happen like Sherri Papini:"

"'Cause you're never gon' see me
Caught sleepin' and see the kidnappin' never did happen
Like Sherri Papini, Harry Houdini, I vanish into the thin air as I'm leaving, like"

All three episodes of Perfect Wife: The Mysterious Disappearance of Sherri Papini are streaming now on Hulu.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.