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21 Years After Kristin Smart's Disappearance, Officials Realize They Forgot To Search On Place

Twenty years ago, a young California Polytechnic State University student disappeared after a party near her school. For years, the cold case stumped authorities. A new lead has given them hope, and a place to dig for remains.

Kristin Smart, 19, was at a Memorial Day weekend party near her campus on May 25, 1996, when she headed back to her dorm. She was never seen again.

Paul Flores, a fellow student, was one of the last people with whom Smart was ever seen. He claims he walked her back to the dorm and they parted ways. Searches turned up empty and no evidence of her whereabouts or foul play could be found.

Later, it was discovered that Flores had been accused of rape by a woman two years before Smart's disappearance. He remains a suspect in the case but was never charged. Some have speculated that Smart's remains are hidden in Flores' mother's back yard.

The San Luis Obispo County sheriff's office is now digging off campus near the party Smart attended that night. According to reports, a lead 'developed over the past two years' and it 'strongly suggested' Smart's body might be buried there. The area has been named a crime scene and excavations have commenced.

"Until it's done, we want to continue to manage our expectations. We're hoping that we find something and we're committed to not stopping until we're able to bring this to a closure,” Sheriff Ian Parkinson said.

The family, in a statement, said they're hopeful that they'll find peace, and that they're grateful to Parkinson for support and continued commitment to find Smart.

Source: LA TImes
Photo: Independent

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