SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Investigators said Wednesday they have new evidence in the Kristin Smart case, prompting responses from community members and attorneys alike.
Smart disappeared in 1996 after being walked back towards her dorm at Cal Poly. Paul Flores was the last person to see the 19-year-old alive in may of 1996.
At the time, the sheriff's office had said he was the only suspect. Charges were never filed against him.
The sheriff said they have two trucks in evidence. Both belonged to Flores family members in 1996, the year Smart disappeared.
Santa Maria defense attorney Michael B. Clayton said it's not unusual to hold old evidence this long in cold cases.
He said with new technology and new eyes, it makes sense that investigators are taking a second look at the evidence.
DNA testing has gotten more sophisticated with time. Investigators say 37 pieces are being re-examined for modern DNA testing in the case.
Kristin Smart's body has not been found.
She was declared legally dead in 2002.
Smart would have turned 43 years old next month.
The Smart family released a statement thanking Orcutt podcaster: Chris Lambert.
His podcast "Your Own Backyard" revisited the case and investigation.
The investigation was reinvigorated when Sheriff Ian Parkinson took office back in 2011.
Since then, investigators said they have served 18 search warrants, re-examined every item of evidence, recovered 140 items of new evidence and interviewed 91 people.
As for what's next, Clayton says it depends on the evidence. It could be "more search warrants, maybe more investigation back on the site now that they know what they've got."
Clayton said that there is no statute of limitations on murder cases. "Maybe there's going to be a complaint filed because maybe they have enough evidence that they can proceed forward," he said.