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San Luis Obispo County

25 years after her disappearance, Kristin Smart is remembered with community walk

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The Central Coast remembered Kristin Smart Tuesday on the 25th anniversary of her disappearance.

Members of the community participated in a walk following the route Smart is believed to have taken before her disappearance, from the house she left on Crandall Way all the way back to her dorm at Cal Poly.

Tuesday marked the 25th anniversary of Kristin Smart's disappearance. With recent developments in the case, like the arrest of primary suspect, Paul Flores and his father Ruben, days like Tuesday felt a little more hopeful than years past.

"It's kind of a time to reflect on who Kristin was and the more positive aspects of her life and not just the tragic ending," said Chris Lambert, creator of the popular Your Own Backyard podcast. The podcaster joined the walk to remember Kristin after marking the somber day with the Smart family over the weekend.

"We're going to play some of Kristin's favorite songs together and we're going to talk about some of the things Kristin liked to do and what Kristin's dreams were and the focus has always been on the more positive and upbeat side of things," Lambert said.

The walk drew well over 100 people.

Tessa Witkofsky was one of the organizers of the remembrance walk.

"I didn't expect this many people and I'm very very happy to see that so many people came," Witkofsky said.

Witkofsky organized the event with the help of some new friends.

"I couldn't have done it without Chris Lambert and the Smart family and my friends as well," she said.

Most importantly, she knows that events like this one does more than honor Kristin's legacy.

"It shows the Smart family that they have a whole community behind them that supports them and loves them and loves their daughter."

Paul and Ruben Flores were arrested in mid-April as part of the decades-long investigation into the disappearance of Kristin Smart. Paul Flores is accused of killing Smart during an attempted rape at his dorm at Cal Poly in 1996. He is believed to be the last person to see Smart alive.

Ruben Flores was released from police custody after posting bail. The two men have both pleaded not guilty to their charges.

They are due back in court on July 6.


Playlist: The Disappearance of Kristin Smart

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Brayton Metzger

I am a photographer, videographer, and occasionally a multimedia journalist for KEYT in Santa Barbara.

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