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Sherri Papini’s Abduction Strangely Similar to Case of Her Friend Who Went Missing 18 Years Ago

Sherri Papini’s abduction is eerily similar to that of her friend who went missing 18 years ago.

Papini — who was found beaten and chained on the side of a road in Yolo County, California, around 4:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving — was first reported missing by her husband, Keith Papini, on November 2 after she failed to come home following a jog.

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According to the Daily Mail, she had a high school pal named Tera Smith who disappeared the evening of August 22, 1998, after leaving her Redding, California, home for a jog. However, unlike, Papini, Smith has yet to be found.

“They look similar and circumstances are very similar,” Lianne Bowman, whose business is a short distance from where Sherri’s belongings were located, told the Sacramento Bee last month.

The Daily Mail reports that Smith, who was 16 years old at the time of her disappearance, was jogging in the same town that Papini disappeared from. According to the outlet, Keith Papini reached out to Smith’s family shortly after his wife went missing.

Tera Smith
Tera Smith

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“I felt bad because Keith had so much hope and so much confidence that she’d be found,” Tera’s father, Terry Smith, told the Daily Mail. “I didn’t have a lot of comfort to offer him. How do you tell somebody a few days after their wife’s gone missing that she’s probably gone for good?”

Sherri Papini was eventually found 22 days after she went missing. During an interview with 20/20, which aired on Friday, December 2, Keith — who shares two children with Sherri — opened up about his wife’s condition following the horrifying experience. 

Sherri Papini
Sherri Papini

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“She was bound. She had a chain around her waist,” he told ABC’s Matt Gutman. “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.”

Keith added, “She screamed so much, she said she’s coughing up blood from the screaming, trying to get somebody to stop. 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.”

Authorities are still looking for Sherri’s abductors, who she described to police as two Hispanic women.


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