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Police seek female suspects in alleged kidnapping of California mother

Sherri Papini, 34 Image copyright Shasta County Sheriff
Image caption Ms Papini was described as a "super mom"

Police are seeking two Hispanic females in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a California woman found three weeks after she went missing.

Sherri Papini, 34, was discovered bound by restraints on Thursday, 140 miles (225km) from where she was last seen.

Police officials said they "have no reason to disbelieve" her account, adding that she "was assaulted and had injuries which she was treated for".

The motive behind her abduction in Redding is still unclear.

Image copyright Facebook

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said on Sunday that investigators were looking into her past, which includes a previous marriage, as well as her online activity.

The mother of two young children was found "heavily battered" before dawn on Thanksgiving day after she managed to flag down a car on Interstate 5 in Yolo County, according to a recording of a 911 dispatch call.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Sherri Papini and her husband, Keith

Sheriff Bosenko said police are looking for two Latino women, who were said to be armed with a handgun and driving a dark-coloured SUV.

Image copyright AP
Image caption A missing sign for Ms Papini appears along Sunrise Drive, in Mountain Gate, California, near the location where she is believed to have gone missing while on an afternoon jog

Police are also looking at mobile phone tower data and surveillance footage from the area where Ms Papini said she was left by her captors.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Sherri Papini and her husband, Keith, and their children

"We are very, very thankful and very ecstatic," said Ms Papini's sister, Sheila Koester, 36.

Ms Papini's husband had reported her missing after she failed to pick up their children from day care on 2 November.

Image copyright Facebook

She did not return home after reportedly going for an afternoon run.

Ms Papini's mobile phone, headphones and strands of her hair were discovered along a rural road.

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