The Disappearance of Jami Hagel Sherer
Jami Hagel was a pretty, outgoing 22-year old in 1986 when she first met Steven Sherer. Unfailingly happy and never moody, the only daughter of a family with three sons, she had been a feisty tomboy in her childhood and teens who had loved horses, baseball and climbing trees and was fearless. She delighted in her younger twin brothers and had a very close relationship with her mother, Judy, which never wavered, even into adolescence and adulthood.
The energetic girl matured into a caring and compassionate young woman who retained the bubbly, outgoing, and friendly nature of her youth. She had a serious high school boyfriend, one she began dating during her sophomore years and with for five or six years, remaining friendly with him thereafter. Jami not only kept her bonds with her school friends but with her family as well. Even after moving out of the family home and into, first, an apartment she shared with a roommate and then into her own apartment in Redmond, Washington, less than ten miles from the Hagels’ home in Bellevue, she called Judy four or five times a week and spent most weekends with her parents and siblings. She had a secure job with a computer company and her life was just beginning to blossom in front of her when Steven Sherer entered her world.
The first time that Jami’s parents saw Steve Sherer, he rode up on a motorcycle with Jami. He was proud of the motorcycle as he had bought it from his winnings at the racetrack, as Judy Hagel recalled. The Hagels were less than impressed with Steve. While Jami had previously brought home boyfriends that were polite and took every opportunity to be friendly, Steve Sherer was completely uninterested in Judy and Jerry Hagel and anxious to leave their home. At that time, neither Jami’s family nor friends were overly concerned, feeling that she couldn’t seriously be interested in someone like him.
Steve had been born in California to a 22-year-old father and 17-year-old mother. Like Jami’s parents, Steve’s father David originally came from North Dakota. David was a bricklayer but he possessed business savvy and wasn’t afraid of hard work. He moved his young family that included Steve’s mother Sherri, Steve and Saundra to Washington (youngest daughter Laura would be born there) as the building boom was happening.