Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday that it served four search warrants related to the 1996 disappearance of California college student Kristin Smart.
The sheriff's office announced that it served warrants for specific items of evidence including two in San Luis Obispo County, one in Los Angeles County and one in Washington state.
"Due to the high-profile nature of the investigation into the disappearance and whereabouts of Kristin Smart and to avoid the dissemination of misinformation, the sheriff's office is announcing this morning it has served search warrants for specific items of evidence inside four separate locations in California and Washington," it said.
Smart, a 19-year-old student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, disappeared after attending a party at an off-campus residence May 25, 1996.
She was declared dead in 2002 after her body was not found in an extensive search effort including K-9 units, helicopters and ground-penetrating radar.
In 2016, San Luis Obispo County authorities said they found "items of interest" while digging at three excavation sites in central California after a new lead suggested she may be buried there.
Since San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson took office, investigators have collected 140 new items of evidence, searched nine locations, served 18 search warrants, resubmitted 37 pieces of evidence for more current DNA testing and conducted more than 90 face-to-face interviews.
Investigators recently discovered trucks belonging to the family of Paul Flores, a long-time person of interest in the case, in another state.
Witnesses said Flores was last seen with an intoxicated Smart the night she vanished, walking her home after the party ended. A year before her disappearance a female student called police saying that an apparently drunk Flores climbed a trellis outside her apartment and refused to leave her balcony but was gone by the time police arrived.