December 1997 & The Birth of Social Media...
Some context - Kristin vanished before the new world was born via social media. It was like the dark ages back then.
In December of 1997, I met Denise Smart for the first time. She invited me to her home and I got to learn about Kristin for the first time. This was 18 months after Kristin vanished, however, it was still before Google, Facebook, and Twitter came along.
During that first meeting, Mrs. Smart told me that the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office no longer even bothered to return her phone calls. That was just a year and a half after her daughter vanished!
Things are different now as Mrs. Smart has a direct line to Sheriff Parkinson anytime she needs. Unfortunately, Sheriff Parkinson was not in office back in 1996.
People like Sergie Brin, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerburg, Jack Dorsey and Steve Jobs will have played a major role in finding Kristin when she is found because they [and people like them] are the ones who made it possible for missing people the world over to stay in front of people's collective consciousness.
If only the iPhone was invented 11 years earlier - the GPS alone would have solved her case in the first week.