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Former FBI agent weighs in on potential new developments in Kristin Smart case

Former FBI agent weighs in on potential new developments in Kristin Smart case
Posted at 5:39 PM, Jan 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 15:22:16-05

It has been nearly 24 years since Kristin Smart disappeared from Cal Poly's campus but a Stockton-based Newspaper is claiming potential new developments in the case could be coming soon.

An article posted by the Stockton Record on Saturday said an FBI agent contacted Kristin's mother, Denise Smart, about possible new details in her daughter's case, telling her to, "Be ready. This is really going to be something you don’t expect."

KSBY encountered a handful of conflicting statements and confusion surrounding this article with some saying the information posted was misconstrued.

However, John Segale, who says he is the spokesperson for the Smart family, said they are standing by what was written.

There is no mention of when potential new developments could be released.

A *retired FBI Agent with the Los Angeles office weighed in on the notification and what it could mean for investigators and the family.

"It does sound like they have found something with relatively definite information, whether it be good or bad, and the family certainly has a right to know. It sounds like that may have been exactly what the FBI was doing," said Tom Parker, a retired FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles office. "It sounds like something extremely significant has happened or has been discovered, which would lead me to believe that they are right there on the edge of some kind of resolution."

In the article, Denise Smart goes on to say that she was told to hire a family spokesperson and to consider getting away for a while.

The author of the article, Bob Highfill, said he reached out to the Smart family on Wednesday after learning about the podcast "Your Own Backyard", which details Kristin Smart's case.

Highfill told KSBY over the phone that's when Denise Smart told him about her conversation with the FBI.

However, former Assistant Special Agent in Charge Parker said some of this seems strange.

"It is a little unusual. And in most cases involving killing or even a homicide case, that contact with the family is really important," said Parker. "The FBI or the local agency really needs to maintain a a close relationship with the family and keep them advised as much as possible."

In this case, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office is the lead investigating agency, but Parker said it's common for the FBI to help given the circumstances of Kristin's disappearance.

A working FBI representative said any new announcements would come from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office was not available Monday for immediate comment.

The apparent Smart family spokesperson declined further comment on the article and status of the case.

Another candlelight vigil is being held to rally for Kristin and her family February 1, at 5 p.m. at Santa Rosa Park in San Luis Obispo.

*Tom Parker is a retired Assistant Special Agent in Charge out of the Los Angeles office and is not an official spokesperson or representative of the FBI.