Digging into a hillside, not far from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is a sight giving hope to Kristin Smart’s parents, who've been waiting 20 years to bring her home.
Investigators found some items of interest Thursday, but they haven't said what those items are.
"[It's been] sort of a roller coaster, so we’re hopeful, but we’re not sure what they’re going to find,” Kristin’s father, Stan Smart, said.
The 19-year-old Kristin went missing in 1996 in San Luis Obispo. Years of not knowing what happened to her have been trying on Stan, his children and his wife who still live in Stockton.
Stan said he’s known for some time that the FBI and the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department would dig. Investigators began their search Wednesday at three sites around the Cal Poly campus.
"My wife and I and our children are very hopeful to find something in way of evidence,” he said.
Stan said over the years they’ve had several leads. However, nothing panned out until this week. They’re hoping this latest excavation can help bring some answers the family needs.
While the family hopes they find Kristin soon, Stan said the answers won’t change the grief his family has lived with for decades. It’s a deep sorrow that never goes away.
"Just a shame, you know? We’re not going to see her grow up, get married, graduate, have a family—any of those things.”