San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson gave an exclusive interview to a local country radio show Thursday morning, discussing the latest developments in the 1996 case of missing Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.
The sheriff's office denied KSBY's request Wednesday to speak one-on-one with Sheriff Parkinson and said the radio interview had been scheduled weeks ago. Sheriff's office spokesman Tony Cipolla told KSBY the sheriff would not talk about the current status of the case on the radio show.
However, Parkinson did speak about the case with KJUG hosts Tom Kefurry and Becky Kingman and shared that he spoke with Kristin Smart's mother, Denise, Wednesday as search warrants were served in connection with the investigation.
Sheriff Parkinson told the radio hosts he met with Denise Smart in January in Shell Beach and that Wednesday over the phone, Denise told him she "felt really good because of the passion in the room from everyone," including the investigators and Parkinson himself.
"That [passion] is not something you can fake," Parkinson told KJUG. "To me, that was more important than anything."
Parkinson clarified in the interview that anyone involved with hiding murder could be convicted on felony crimes. There is no statute of limitations on murder or accessory to murder.
Kefurry and Kingman asked the sheriff about the impact of a popular podcast "Your Own Backyard," in which Chris Lambert details the disappearance of Kristin Smart.
"I think that publicity is good in a lot of ways. Publicity helps bring people forward in telling what they may have seen, whether they feel it is important or not," Parkinson said.
"The downside is it causes a lot of speculation and misinformation," he said. "[The sheriff's office] can't go back and correct every bit of misinformation."
Parkinson asked listeners to "solicit people who might have information from back then," but steer away from spreading unfounded rumors and theories.
KSBY has made repeated requests to the sheriff's office in recent weeks for an interview with Parkinson. Our requests have been denied.
After the KJUG interview Thursday morning, KSBY asked yet again to speak with Parkinson but was denied.