California Jogger's Kidnapping 'Very Similar' To Former Classmate's Disappearance

sherri papini jogger kidnapped classmate

Dec. 7 2016, Published 12:01 p.m. ET

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The California mother who was abducted on a jog last month is "strikingly similar" to a teenager who went missing 18 prior — and never returned — on the same trail, Radar has learned.

According to the Daily Mail, Sherri Papini's high school friend Tera Smith, then just 16, disappeared on August 22, 1998 after leaving her home in Redding, California for a run in the early evening.

"In many ways the cases are very similar," said Terry Smith, Tera's father. "They are two, good looking blonde girls and were supposedly randomly picked up on the side of the road jogging."

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"Since our situation turned out so badly, I didn’t think she would be back," Smith added of his still missing daughter, "So we were really surprised and grateful that she was found."

As Radar previously reported, Papini had been missing for 22 days before she was discovered on Thanksgiving day. On the day of her abduction, Sherri had been jogging around 2 p.m. local time, running along a trail near her home.

The case was so similar to Tera's disappearance, according to Smith, Papini's husband Keith even reached out to him for advice.

"Keith came over for a while on the second or third day after Sherri went missing," Smith revealed. "We didn’t know him at all until this happened, but we knew Sherri through her friendship with our daughters. Keith came to ask our advice and tap in to our experience, find out what we’d do differently, if we were happy with the way law enforcement had handled our case."

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When Papini was discovered alive, though badly battered and abused, Smith shared that his family was happy for the Papini's, but admitted they were also sad over his own daughter's terrible fate.

"Yes we were thrilled and so happy for the Papini family, we don’t want to detract from that at all," he explained. "But the fact that after the initial emotion and elation and happiness for her being found, we admit, we had those feelings of, 'Too bad ours didn’t turn out that way' But we’re so grateful that Sherri’s back."

Meanwhile, the police continue to search for Papini’s captors, though Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko confessed that detectives have yet to establish a motive behind the kidnapping.

Story developing.

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