Inside the 25-Year Hunt for Answers in Kristin Smart’s Disappearance

Inside the 25-Year Hunt for Answers in Kristin Smart’s Disappearance


Margarita Campos said on CBS News’ 48 Hours in November that, when they parted ways on the night in question, Kristin didn’t have money, ID or her keys, so Margarita gave her friend her key to let herself back into the dormitory later. 

“I was expecting her to knock on my door and be, like, ‘Oh, Margarita, you missed a rager. And here’s your key,'” Margarita said. “I knocked on her door, and I thought she was just sleeping, or she went out and about, you know?” As for the campus police, she recalled, “They were, like, ‘Are you sure she didn’t go out of town?’ It’s, like, she has nothing on her…How could she have gone out of town?”

Margarita admitted, “To this day, like, I was like, why—why did I just let her go by herself?…I did have guilt about that…But you have to understand, she was a really independent free spirit.”

Authorities also entertained the possibility that Kristin had simply run away, a notion her mother didn’t believe for a second, no matter much she hoped her daughter was alive and well. Talking to the Los Angeles Times in 2006, Denise recalled feeling as if investigators were treating Kristin “like a lost bicycle.”

Searchers conducted a dig at the landfill where the Cal Poly trash was dumped several days after Kristin disappeared, but it was four weeks before campus police reached out out to the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department for assistance.



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