16-year-old Tera Smith was known for having many passions, and she made room for all of them in her life. She loved nature, horses, playing basketball, writing poetry, and staying in touch with her spiritual side.
“Her freshman year of high school, she was also homecoming queen and arm wrestling champ,” added Tera’s mother, Marilyn, in an interview with Dateline.
And among her three younger siblings, Tera is remembered as always being a role model as a big sister. She was a star athlete, cherished by her friend group, and made sure that no one ever felt left out.
“She went out of her way, I think, to make everyone feel included,” Tera’s younger sister, Kyra, said.
Tera, along with her siblings Kyra, Trevor, and Sierra, was born and raised in Redding, California. And at the young age of sixteen, she impressed her family with how much she put on her plate.
Tera lived up to her role as a big sister, maintained good grades at Central Valley High School, worked at her family business, and still dedicated time to take up new hobbies– like Taekwondo.
Still, no teenager is ever perfect, and in August of 1998, Tera was grounded by her mother after she snuck out of the house.
It was not until August 22, though, that she would mysteriously disappear and leave the Smith family in shambles.
Facebook; pictured above is Tera