Update: Investigators find ‘items of interest’ in Kristin Smart excavations at Cal Poly
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday the FBI has concluded its excavation project on the Cal Poly campus. The purpose of the excavation was to determine if the remains of Kristin Smart or other evidence were buried on that property.
Smart was a Cal Poly student who went missing in May, 1996. On Tuesday, the FBI’s Evidence Recovery Team began excavating three sites on a hillside near the Cal Poly “P” landmark. Items of interest were found at all three sites. Those items are now being further analyzed to determine if they are related to the Kristin Smart investigation.
“This is an involved process using forensic anthropologists and other experts and we may not know the results for days or weeks,” the sheriff’s office report says. “While the Sheriff’s Office is hopeful these findings will be beneficial to the investigation, we urge the public to be patient throughout this process.”
The sheriff’s office did release any other information at this time.
Original report Sept. 6:
Sheriff’s detectives searching for Kristin Smart’s remains at Cal Poly
On Monday, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the FBI, began an excavation project on the Cal Poly campus to determine if the remains of Kristin Smart were buried on the property, according to a report from the sheriff’s office.
Smart is a Cal Poly student who went missing in May, 1996. This is one of several locations being looked at, and is being disclosed because of the high profile location, the report says. The sheriff’s office is not disclosing any other locations at this time.
After a comprehensive review of the Smart case, a lead was developed over the past two years that strongly suggested the remains of Smart might be buried on the hillside near the Cal Poly “P” landmark.
Human Remains Detection dogs were brought in from FBI headquarters in Virginia to search the area in January of this year. These specially trained FBI canines independently alerted on locations of interest in this area of campus.
In the past five years, the sheriff’s office has used the services of the FBI, California Department of Justice, Ventura County DNA Lab and the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.
Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong has been informed and has been very supportive of this project, the report says.
Being mindful of the impact to Cal Poly, the sheriff’s office chose to conduct the excavation before the fall quarter began. Realizing potential impacts to the environment, the sheriff’s office contacted the state department of Fish and Wildlife for guidance to minimize the environmental impact during the project and for direction on site restoration when we are finished.
The Smart family has been kept apprised and is supportive of this new development, the report says.
The sheriff’s office has invested thousands of investigative hours and thousands of dollars for this case over the past five years. “It is our hope this will lead us to finding Kristin and bring closure to her family and to the community,” the report says.