The California mum-of-two who went missing for 22 days before being found beaten and chained couldn’t get anyone to stop for her after she escaped her captors.
Sherri Papini’s husband has opened up about his wife’s terrifying ordeal in a sit-down interview, saying she desperately tried to get people to stop after she was dumped at the side of a road in the early hours of Thanksgiving.
“She screamed so much she said she’s coughing up blood from the screaming trying to get somebody to stop,” Keith told ABC News 20/20 Matt Gutman in an interview due to air on Friday.
“And again, just another sign of how my wife is, she’s so wonderful, how she’s like, ‘Well, maybe people aren’t stopping because I have a chain, it looks like I broke out of prison.’ So she tried to tuck in her chain under her clothes.”
Keith also described the chilling moment the 34-year-old finally escaped.
“She was bound. She had a chain around her waist,” he said. “She had a bag over her head. Her left hand was in the vehicle chained to something.
“She was chained anytime she was in a vehicle. They opened the door she doesn’t know because she had a bag over her head. They cut something to free [a] restraint that was holding her into the vehicle and then kind of pushed her out of the vehicle and she at this point has no idea where she’s at. She ran to the freeway.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Keith told Gutman that he "thought about her being there, screaming my name."
Earlier in the week Keith revealed that when Sherri was found she was covered in bruises, her blonde hair had been chopped off and she was "emaciated", weighing just 87 pounds.
In the statement given to Good Morning America, he 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.
"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 multicolored bruises, severe burns, red rashes and chain markings. Her signature long blonde hair had been chopped off. She has been branded.
"Sherri was taken from us for 22 days, and suffered incredibly through both intense physical agony and severe mental torture. My reaction was one of extreme happiness and overwhelming nausea as my eyes and hands scanned her body," he said.
"I was filled with so much relief and revulsion at once. 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."
Keith also addressed the media attention and speculation his wife’s disappearance generated, branding some rumours "disgusting".
"Rumours, assumptions, lies and hate have been both exhausting and disgusting. We are not going to allow those people to take away our spirit, love or rejoice in our girl found alive and home where she belongs," he said.
"I understand people want the story, pictures, proof that this was not some sort of hoax, plan to gain money or some fabricated race war. I do not see a purpose in addressing each preposterous lie."
Police continue to search for two Hispanic women considered “dangerous”.