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Possible break reported in the case of Kristin Smart’s disappearance 

kristin smart

Cal Poly student Kristin Smart

The Stockton Record reported Saturday that answers might be forthcoming in the 1996 disappearance and presumed death of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Kristin Smart.

From the Record:

Something may break soon in the case of Kristin Denise Smart, the former Stockton resident and student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, whose disappearance in 1996 remains unsolved.

Kristin’s mother, Denise Smart, said she recently has been contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and told to be ready for a development that might bring closure to her 23-year nightmare. Denise said she was told by authorities, “Be ready. This is really going to be something you don’t expect. We want to give you the support you need.”

The FBI also suggested she secure a family spokesperson and the family “might want to get away for a while.” What the FBI didn’t say is when this development might be announced. – Read the full original report here.

Kristin Smart’s disappearance:

Kristin Denise Smart (born Feb. 20, 1977, legally presumed dead May 25, 2002) was abducted and killed at the end of her freshman year of college, May 25, 1996, on the campus of California Polytechnic State University. Three fellow students escorted Smart back to her hall of residence after an off-campus party. Her death is an actively investigated missing person case.

On Sept. 6, 2016, the San Luis Obispo Sheriff Department reported it had received information about the possible location of Smart’s remains, resulting in a hillside excavation on the Cal Poly campus. After five days of digging, bones were recovered from at least one excavation site. However, it was initially unclear if the findings were animal or human, and forensic analysis may take months to determine this.

In September 2019, freelance journalist and podcast producer Chris Lambert completed five episodes of a podcast that tells the story of who Smart was and explores the details of her disappearance. Hear his Your Own Backyard podcast here.


About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at