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Supporters observe 24th anniversary of Kristin Smart’s disappearance

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Monday marks 24 years since the disappearance of Kristin Smart.

Smart was a Cal Poly freshman who went missing after walking back to her Cal Poly dorm room on Memorial Day weekend in 1996. She was last seen walking with Paul Flores from a party.

Despite the time, her case is far from cold.

"There is more hope than ever before," said Sandee Hunt-Burns, social media coordinator for Warriors for Kristin. "At this time last year, Chris Lambert was just simply in production of Your Own Backyard podcast."

Oructt resident Chris Lambert renewed attention to the case with his podcast Your Own Backyard. He is credited with inspiring many to share Smart's case, like radio personality Sandy Danger.

"It's been 24 years and that's just been forever," said Danger. She said she remembers hearing about the case when she was growing up, but became heavily invested in the outcome of the case after Lambert's podcast.

She said it has brought "a lot more awareness and a lot more people have been speaking up about it."

Smart's story hits close to home.

"I just can only imagine being that age and remembering my college experience," said Danger. "That could have happened to anybody."

This year's anniversary shows marked progress in the case.

"We've now had a worldly recognized podcast about Kristin," said Hunt-Burns. "We've had transparency from the sheriff's department that we've not had in 24 years... and all these warrants we've been able to witness."

Smart supporters hope that the next anniversary brings justice.

"We're really hoping to see that tick-tock of the clock turn to a very loud chime," said Hunt-Burns.

Crime / Lifestyle / San Luis Obispo County
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Anikka Abbott

Anikka Abbott is a weather anchor and reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Anikka, click here.

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