It’s been two decades since California student Kristin Smart mysteriously vanished. Now, her family may get the answers they’ve been desperately seeking.
According to the Stockton Record, Denise Smart, the mother of the missing California Polytechnic State University student, said the FBI recently contacted her. They told her to brace herself for unexpected news.
“Be ready. This is really going to be something you don’t expect. We want to give you the support you need,” Denise said an FBI agent told her.
Although the FBI didn’t tell Denise what the development was or when it would be announced, they recommended that she obtain a family spokesperson, then “get away for a while.”
“It’s like, ‘Can you give me the flight plan?’ ” Denise told the outlet. “When is this happening?”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Kristin Smart’s parents have never given up in their search for answers.
Smart disappeared on May 24, 1996, after attending an off-campus party. She called her parents that night at around 8:00 p.m. and left a voicemail. It was the last time they heard from her.
A fellow college student, Paul Flores, told authorities that he accompanied back to the Muir Hall dorm after the party. He claimed he then left and walked to his own dorm room at Santa Lucia Hall.
Flores had a black eye at the time. He explained it happened after playing basketball, but detectives were skeptical of his story. Flores later claimed he got the black eye while working on a truck. Eventually, he stopped talking and obtained an attorney.
When authorities brought cadaver dogs to the campus, the dogs reportedly made their way to room #128 at the Santa Lucia Dorm, where Flores lived. Two dogs showed interest in a mattress on the left-hand side of the room, according to court documents, which was Flores’ side of the room.
According to CARDA dog handler, Adela Morris, there “a strong possibility that a deceased body had been in that room.”
The Daily Beast reported in 2016 that the authorities once had the chance to arrest Flores on rape charges prior to Smart’s disappearance. Additional women reportedly came forward afterward and said Flores also sexually assaulted them.
One of the women said she contacted the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office and reported the incident.
So far, Flores has not been charged for sexual assault and hasn’t been charged in connection with Smart’s disappearance. Smart’s parents filed eventually filed a civil suit against Flores for “taking the body of Kristin Smart and secreting and/or destroying the body… in a hidden place in the County of San Luis Obispo.”
Flores’ family countersued the Smart family for emotional distress. A judge later ruled that the Smarts’ lawsuit could not proceed, due to the ongoing investigation, according to The Tribune.
Flores remains a “person of interest” in the case, according to San Luis Obispo police.
In 2016, authorities found items of interest while excavating sites around the “P” hill, near the campus. Denise, however, said she knew that they wouldn’t find her daughter there.
“When they did the big dig, I had no anxiety,” Denise said. “I said she’s not there.”
The excavation didn’t provide any items of evidence that led to an arrest in the case and as Denise predicted, searchers didn’t find her daughter.
The story continues to develop. Check back for updates.
[Feature Photo: Kristin Smart/Handout]