Kristin Smart, a freshman from California Polytechnic State University, was last seen near her dorm on May 25, 1996. She was leaving an off-campus fraternity party with several other students.
According to CNN, Smart did not return to her room and never contacted family or friends again, reported San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office. CNN noted that the freshman had no form of identification, money, or extra clothing when she vanished.
After she disappeared, a massive search was initiated; police investigators combed the crowded campus located in the middle of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Authorities took repeated interviews of a male student, Paul Flores, who said that he left with Smart and saw her walking towards her dorm.
Flores became the last person to see her alive. He also became a person of interest.
It has been 20 years, and now, authorities in California have declared that the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI will begin an “excavation project” this week. The excavation had begun on the Cal Poly campus. Law enforcement authorities are attempting to determine whether the freshman’s remains are on the premises, as reported by Washington Post.
“After a comprehensive review of the Smart case, a lead was developed over the past two years that strongly suggested the remains of Kristin might be buried on the hillside near the Cal Poly ‘P’ landmark,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release.
According to KSBY, Sheriff Ian Parkinson reviewed the case and said that a new lead suggested that the remains of Kristin Smart may be buried on the hillside. Parkinson added that Human Remains Detection dogs from the FBI had discovered probable locations of interest in this area of the campus.