STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) -- Kristin Smart, a Stockton-native, disappeared in 1996 and since then her family has received little closure. Now, they're being told to prepare for a possible break in the case.
On Monday, FOX40 found a note on Smart's mother's door directing reporters to a family spokesperson, the hiring of whom Denise Smart told the Stockton Record was recently recommended to her by an FBI agent.
The Record reports the FBI also told her to “be ready. This is really going to be something you don't expect. We want to give you the support you need."
Newly-acquired spokesman John Seagle refused any new comment about the authorities promising answers to a mystery that's pained the Smart family since 1996. He would only say Smart's loved ones stand by everything that appears in the Record.
"Sounds like something extremely significant has happened or has been discovered, which would lead me to believe they are right on the edge of some kind of resolution," said Tom Parker, a former agent who retired from the FBI's office in Los Angeles.
Smart vanished from Cal Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo after an on-campus party. The 19-year-old was a freshman and it was the Friday before Memorial Day.
Over the years, a mountain of leads has led nowhere. Now, there's a warning to the family that it all may change but without any timeframe attached.
"It's a little unusual to do that but it is done in most cases involving kidnappings or even homicide cases,” Parker explained. “That contact with the family is extremely important."