Jun 15, 2011 1:44 AM by Ariel Wesler

Kristin Smart's family urges authorities to keep searching

Kristin Smart's family is calling on the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff to stay committed to finding her.

Smart vanished from the Cal Poly campus on May 25, 1996. Last month, Sheriff Ian Parkinson said he would re-examine all the physical evidence in the case. A letter was read to Parkinson at a town hall meeting in Cambria tonight on behalf of Kristin's family.

"When the clock strikes midnight, it will mark the 5,500th day that Kristin has been missing," said Cinda Sebring of San Luis Obispo, a family friend who read a letter from the family.

"They are very relieved and grateful that you have made this commitment," she said.

Sheriff Parkinson has asked investigators to re-examine every piece of physical evidence in the case. He hopes new DNA technology will reveal new clues. It's a process he wants to start by the end of the month.

"We're talking about at least a week, taking every piece of evidence out in a sterile environment, so it's going to be very time consuming and unfortunately, we just don't have the personnel we'd like to have to dedicate to these types of cases," said Sheriff Ian Parkinson.

Kristin's family wants Parkinson to reach out for help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, but he says they have more expertise with searches than investigations.

"We have to preserve the integrity of the case and that is not involved people that are not law enforcement or former law enforcement," Parkinson said.

He promises he's doing all he can while family and friends just hope his best will be good enough.

"They say it takes a village to raise a child and it's clear that it's going to take the village to bring Kristin home," Sebring said.

Parkinson says because investigators can't share potential leads with the public, people can feel that Kristin is forgotten, but he says she is not.

More than 20 different law enforcement agencies have been involved in this case. Parkinson is the third sheriff to handle it.


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