Whenever there is a conflict between a person and the law, their children often get caught in the crossfire. Unfortunately, Tyler and Violet Papini faced the same when their mother, Sherri Papini, suddenly went missing in November 2016. However, when she was found, the law enforcement authorities soon discovered she had staged her own kidnapping. In the legal proceedings that ensued, the future of Sherri’s kids became a big debate point. So, if you wish to know what happened to Tyler and Violet and how they are doing currently, we have you covered.
Who Are Sherri Papini’s Kids?
Sherri Graeff married Keith Papini in October 2009, and the couple eventually had two children, Tyler and Violet. The family led an idyllic life in Redding, California, until November 2, 2016. Sherri reportedly went jogging and was supposed to pick up the kids from their daycare. However, she failed to show up, and when Keith returned home from work, he couldn’t find her anywhere. On the other hand, Tyler and Violet got worried, as it was the first time their mom hadn’t turned up at their daycare to take them home.
Moreover, seeing Sherri missing from home and their father stressed affected the kids badly. Later, Keith used the Find My iPhone app to locate his wife and soon found her cell phone and earbuds about a mile from their home. To his horror, he even found a tuft of Sherri’s hair with the phone and feared that something terrible had happened to her. While the family and law enforcement officers frantically searched for the young mother, they were surprised when she reappeared three weeks later on November 24, 2016.
While it was a relieved Thanksgiving Day for Keith and the kids, Sherri’s disheveled condition indicated something terrible had happened to her. Discovered about 150 miles south of where she went missing, she was severely injured and wearing restraints, with a strange branding mark on her right shoulder. Sherri told her husband and the kids that she had allegedly been abducted by two Hispanic women, who held her captive and tortured her. Albeit, she claimed that her two kidnappers always kept their faces covered so that she couldn’t identify them.
Tyler and Violet deeply sympathized with their mother, and Keith also stood firmly by her when she shared her account with the police. As Sherri resumed her regular life with her family, the investigators and the FBI began looking for potential suspects based on her description. About three years later, things took a shocking turn in September 2019 when the DNA found on her clothes matched her ex-boyfriend, James Reyes. He lived in Costa Mesa, California; he told the police in June 2020 that Sherri had allegedly staged her entire abduction.
According to James, Sherri remained in touch with him after marriage, and sometime before she went missing, she claimed that Keith was abusing her. Thus, she took the former’s help in pretending she was kidnapped and went to live with him for the next three weeks. James alleged that Sherri had deliberately self-inflicted her injuries and even taken his assistance in doing so. Yet he, too, seemed unaware that she had lied to him. On the contrary, Sherri denied all his allegations and maintained her stance on being abducted.
Based on James’ confession and the incriminating evidence against her, Sherri was eventually arrested outside Tyler and Violet’s school on March 3, 2022. Given their young age, the siblings were confused about what was happening, and they felt upset at their mother being forcefully taken away. Meanwhile, Keith separated from Sherri on the same day and took responsibility for the kids.
Where Are Sherri Papini’s Kids Today?
In April 2022, Sherri Papini accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to lying to federal officers and mail fraud (for the compensation she had received). After thirteen years of marriage, Keith filed for divorce and applied for sole custody of the kids. He stated that Sherri had significant mental health issues, which deterred her from providing good parenting to them. Keith cited how her lies and eventual arrest had deeply disturbed Tyler and Violet.
In his divorce petition, Keith stated, “They were again traumatized. After she was released from jail, she assured them that the arrest was all a mistake…The children have now learned that their mother lied to them about her disappearance, lied to them about how she was abused by two Hispanic women and lied to them about her arrest. The fact that their mother lied to them about such a major issue is something they, and I, are having a hard time dealing with. We, both children and I need time to recover and stabilize.”
“…Both I, and especially our children, were traumatized by her disappearance, and I spent much time and money trying to find my wife. The trauma inflicted on our children at the unexpected loss of their mother was heartbreaking. I am asking that the court help me protect my children from the negative impact of their mother’s notoriety,” concluded Keith. Apart from Tyler and Violet’s custody, he also sought full ownership of his and Sherri’s home and properties to regulate her visits to the kids.
In September 2022, Sherri was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay a $300,000 fine. Following her incarceration, 9-year-old Tyler and 7-year-old Violet continued living with Keith, who had been granted emergency custody for a while. They now reside with him in Mountain Gate, California, shielded from the public eye by their father. Keith’s sole focus is on taking care of Tyler and Violet and ensuring that they can heal from the trauma they faced.
Read More: James Reyes Now: Where is Sherri Papini’s Ex-Boyfriend Today?