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Social media pages buzzing with comments following searches at Flores home

kristin fb3.PNG
Posted at 10:43 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 02:14:54-04

Online communities have been closely following the disappearance of Kristin Smart, with 10's of thousands of people watching for updates on social media sites like Facebook.

Thousands of people have been watching the KSBY Facebook live streams of the search of Ruben Flores's home the past two days, making some feel more connected to the case than ever.

Jan Brandt has been actively checking the Find Kristin Smart Facebook page over the last 24 hours.

"From the time Kristin disappeared it just struck a chord; being a parent and knowing she disappeared on a college campus was scary," Brandt said.

Brandt is one of the more than 32,000 members in the group on Facebook.

"It is good to know people are thinking a lot of the same things," said Brandt.

Justice for Kristin is another page on the social media site. Moderators of that page tell us:

The purpose of our Facebook group is to support the Smart family, celebrate Kristin's legacy, and provide up to date information and facts on Kristin's case. To do that requires respectful conversation as we want to bond with the community.

For Vacaville educator Tracy Ruiz, this movement has taken a life of its own.

"I feel like these Facebook groups are kinda what Facebook groups are designed to do and that's connect people from all over the place that have a common interest," Ruiz said.

She's now using parts of "Your Own Backyard," the podcast that renewed public interest in the Kristin Smart case, to create lesson plans for her AP Language and Composition students.

"This is really interesting to them and the local connections made it even more interesting. They're familiar with Stockton, they're familiar with Vintage High School, so this really felt as if it was in our own backyard even though I think that was designated for the SLO area," said Ruiz.