Police have been puzzled by a strange clue found in the forest and suspect that it may be a red herring placed by Sherri Papini's captors.
News.com.au reports her iPhone and headphones were found in the Mountain Gate trail, about 1.5km from her house. Police have confirmed that they also found strands of Sherri's hair tangled in the headphones.
However Shasta County Police Sheriff Tom Bosenko revealed in an interview with the Today Show that the way it had been placed was strange.
“It appeared they had been set in some grass with the screen facing up, and then the earbuds to the phone were loosely coiled and appeared to be placed on the screen,” Mr Bosenko said.
“It did somewhat appear to be that it was placed there purposely.”
The fact that the iPhone may have been planted raises questions about the location that she was really kidnapped from. Police are investigating theories that she may have been kidnapped from the house, or at areas other than the jogging trail.
Police also recently revealed disturbing details that Sherri was found with a message burned into her skin.
Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko told ABC News in the US that she had a strange 'message' burned into her skin.
“I would think that was some sort of either an exertion of power and control and/or maybe some type of message that the brand contained,” Mr Bosenko said.
“It is not a symbol, but it was a message.”
Mr Bosenko was unable to reveal any further information about the burn as of yet, however former FBI special agent Brad Garrett speculated that the marking would be just another way for her captors to change her identity.
“The branding is so she will become part of their group; they want to eliminate her past. They cut her hair, they simply starved her, they beat her, maybe torture, etc. And it’s to make her part of whatever they are,” Mr Garrett said on Good Morning America.
The news comes soon after Sherri Papini's husband released a statement describing the moment he was reunited with his wife and the brutal condition she was found in.
“My first sight was my wife in a hospital bed. Her face covered in bruises ranging from yellow to black because of her repeated beatings. The bridge of her nose broken,” Keith Papini told Good Morning America in a statement. “She has been branded and I could feel the rise of her scabs under my fingers.”
Since Ms Papini’s rescue, questions have been raised over the mysterious abduction, however Mr Papini slammed the speculation as “flat-out wrong”.
“Rumors, assumptions, lies and hate have both been both exhausting and disgusting,” he continued in the statement. “I understand people want the story, pictures, proof that this was not some sort of hoax, plan to get money or fabricated race war. I do not see a purpose in addressing each preposterous lie.”
At the stage the police are echoing this, Sheriff Bosenko confirming they have no reason not to believe Ms Papini’s story.
“So far we are still investigating this as a kidnapping abduction. And everything that she is providing us thus far is indicating that,” he said. “We currently don’t have a known motive or reason for this abduction. We don’t know if it was targeted to her specifically or a random abduction.”
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire.