Sheriff Parkinson meets with parents of Kristin Smart
February 3, 2011
Stan and Denise Smart, parents of missing Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, continued their nearly-15-year search for the truth by meeting Thursday morning with Ian Parkinson, the new San Luis Obispo County Sheriff.
Kristin Smart was just completing her freshman year at Cal Poly when she disappeared after last being seen in the company of fellow student Paul Flores following an off-campus party in San Luis Obispo during Memorial Day weekend of 1996.
The Smarts drove down from Stockton to meet with Parkinson. A film crew from the Lifetime television series “Vanished” was also in San Luis Obispo this week to interview the Smarts and law enforcement officials. Parkinson was interviewed for the TV show, flanked by three members of the sheriff’s department.
Denise Smart later said that she was impressed by Parkinson’s knowledge of the case and obvious concern for the family. “He listened to what we had to say and reminded us that he and his wife also have teenage children.”
Kristin Smart’s body has never been found. Cal Poly police initially had the case for the first 30 days before the Sheriff’s department stepped in. Specially-trained dogs later found Smart’s scent in Flores’ dormitory room, but the student was never charged. He later dropped out of Cal Poly and is believed to be living in southern California.
His parents, who still live in Arroyo Grande, have filed a civil suit against the Smarts, claiming harassment.
Denise Smart remains hopeful that the truth about her daughter will finally be uncovered. “Somebody knows what happened that night,” she said. “They’re older now, more mature, and they remember what happened. Sooner or later, someone will come forward. That is our hope.”