Terri Lynn Smith was born February 14, 1998, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, to Randy and Donna Smith.

Randy worked as a football coach at Choctawhatchee High School, and Donna was a fourth-grade teacher at Shalimar Elementary. Terri had two older siblings, Adam and Stacy, who both graduated from the University of Florida and are now married and have families of their own.

In high school, Terri was a cheerleader and an excellent student with an A average. Her parents wanted her to attend the University of Florida like her brother and sister, but Terri wanted to go to a college where she could be more independent. She chose the University of Mississippi, and she loved the city of Oxford from the start.

She moved into the dorms, where she met her roommate, Kristin Colby. As they got to know each other, the girls discovered they both dreamed of becoming models and had worked several local modeling jobs in high school. Kristin and Terri quickly became best friends and continued to room together every year.

When they heard the campus drama club was having a fashion show with Samantha and Michael Hawke as hosts, Terri and Kristin jumped at the chance to meet the famous couple. During a conversation with the girls, Samantha told them her literary agent lived in town and suggested he might be able to help them meet the right people. With Samantha's referral, they set up a meeting with Victor Jennings at a local restaurant.

Terri and Kristin flirted with Victor, hoping to encourage him to use his connections to help them. Victor relished the attention from two beautiful young women. He treated them to dinner and promised to make some calls on their behalf.

After that meeting, Terri started going to parties at Victor's home a couple of times a month, usually with Kristin but sometimes with other girlfriends. And Victor kept his promise and helped both Terri and Kristin land some regional modeling gigs, mostly in Memphis.

During winter break, Terri only went home to Florida for a few days and spent the rest of the time in Oxford either with Kristin and her family or in the room she and Kristin share at the sorority house.

Terri and Kristin went to Victor's New Year's Eve party together. Later that night, other girls in the sorority house who were back in town for Winter Intersession noticed that Terri and Kristin came back separately. They never went to another one of Victor's parties and wouldn't say why.

A few weeks later, Victor Jennings was arrested on extortion charges, and the parties stopped. Even after he was released on house arrest, the parties never resumed.

Since the new semester started, Terri has been focused on her studies and her modeling career, not really socializing with anyone other than Kristin.

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