PASO ROBLES (CBS13) – A vigil honoring Kristin Smart will be held in Paso Robles on Saturday night just days after a father and son were taken into custody in connection to her disappearance in 1996.
The family of Smart will not be in attendance but released a statement thanking the community for their support of the last 25 years.READ MORE: Gov. Newsom Proposes Budget That Would Send $600 Stimulus Checks To Two-Thirds Of Californians
San Luis Obispo County authorities announced on Tuesday that Paul Flores, the man long considered to be the prime suspect in Smart’s disappearance, was in custody for her murder. Paul’s father, Ruben Flores, was also arrested on charges of being an accessory to murder.
“It is impossible to put into words what this day means for our family; we pray it is the first step to bringing our daughter home. While Kristin’s loving spirit will always live in our hearts, our life without her hugs, laughs and smiles is a heartache that never abates,” the family wrote after news of the arrest.
Just prior to her disappearance, Smart was on her way back to a dorm at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo after a party. She was last seen with fellow student Paul Flores.READ MORE: Car Crashes Into Sutter County Home, Catches Fire
The body of Smart, 19, of Stockton, has never been found.
Saturday’s candlelight vigil was scheduled for 7 p.m. at Downtown City Park.
You can read the family’s full statement below:MORE NEWS: Police: Young Boy Drowns On Mother’s Day At Lodi Lake
“While we are not able to join you for the candlelight vigil, we are with you all in spirit. Your love for Kristin and your unwavering support for our family for the past 25 years has been amazing and deeply appreciated. Many became involved more than two decades ago, like the relentless, Dennis Mahon, and our outstanding legal team, Jim and Garin Murphy and Mark Connelly. You all have filled our hearts, helped pick us up and powered us forward to this point in time. The day of reckoning is coming, and soon we will all gather together to celebrate Justice for Kristin.”