Search for missing 19-year-old renewed after two decades, authorities believe she is buried on campus
Fourth Estate Staff
San Luis Obispo, CA, United States (4E) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) renewed the search efforts for the 19-year-old student who vanished more than two decades ago as authorities believe that her body was buried at the campus she was attending at that time.
The missing person, identified as Kristin Smart, was last seen on May 25, 1996. She was returning to her dorm at California Polytechnic State University after attending a party. An FBI team is now set to excavate a site on the aforementioned campus as they hope to find Smart’s remains.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said in a statement that they are not sure where the excavation will take them but they are optimistic and they are hoping that the efforts will lead to the remains of Smart or evidence about her. The site where the excavation is to take place is next to a campus parking lot.
However, it is not the only site as several sites have been identified by dogs trained to detect old human remains. The other sites are under wraps as they do not want to let the possible suspect or suspects know about what the authorities know.
The first ever excavation began on Wednesday and will last for at least four days. The digging will happen while classes have not started yet. The excavation will involve 25 FBI agents. Parkinson added in a statement, “The Smart family, who I have communicated with for the past six years and specifically today, know we’re here. They fully support our efforts.”
Initially, it was believed that Smart went camping that is why she did not return to her dorm the night that she went missing. She was not declared a missing person for three days. The case of Smart led to the Kristin Smart Campus Safety Act of 1998, which requires campus police to determine exactly when they will call in outside authorities to investigate a violent crime.
A student who was with Smart before she disappeared is said to be a person of interest.
The family of Smart said that they are encourages and hopeful for the new developments in the case of the 19-year-old. They also thanked Parkinson and his staff for their determination to solve the case.