Over the past 25 years Kristin Smart's disappearance has been followed by community members across the Central Coast.
KSBY spoke with some locals in Arroyo Grande as to why they continue to stay connected to the unfolding investigation.
Justin Crockett and Krista Bandy who are lifelong Arroyo Grande residents, and now business owners in the village, say they have grown up with the story and it has followed them most of their lives.
A billboard has been in Arroyo Grande for as long as the two can remember. Just a few months ago, Crockett, who owns Brand Creative, says the least he could do to bring awareness to Kristin Smart's disappearance was to give it a facelift.
"It needed a freshen up. Crazy thing is, as a kid, I would walk by that sign almost every day, riding my skateboard down in the village. You see that sign. I've been going past that sign for 10-15 years," said Crockett.
Hello Village, a gift and party store located in the heart of downtown put purple balloons, Kristin's favorite color, on the sign to help shine a light on the case.
"All of the village businesses have really come together in support of just giving back to the Kristin Smart Scholarship. We all just want to be a part of this. We want to come together to show our support and show our love," said Janelle Stava, Manager of Hello Village.
But why does the community feel so strongly connected to the case?
"It's sad because the family lives so far away in Stockton. I think for the family, it's nice that they know the community down here is there for them. The biggest thing is trying to bring her home," said Crockett.
"You think about that this is somebody's daughter, somebody's sister, that they've lived without for 25 years. To us, it's a story, but to them, it's the life they're living. It's sad," said Krista Bandy, Owner of Hello Village
Watching from afar but doing what they can to help in bringing Kristin home, the tight-knit Central Coast community continues to leave their mark for the better.