The man who offered $25,000 in February to anyone who finds the location of Kristen Smartâ€™s body has upped the ante. Terry Black is now willing to pay $100,000. An ad making the announcement will appear next week.Â â€œI figure if thereâ€™s somebody out there who knows,â€? says Black, â€œ$100,000 is going to motivate them.â€? Black, who owns an exclusive estate used as a private club and spa called Grand Island Mansion in the delta not far from Sacramento, says he doesnâ€™t care how much money he spends. â€œMy sole function in life is to retrieve the body for the Smart family.â€?
Black says he got some good leads from his initial ads, but tracking those down takes time, and he wants the case solved. Kristin Smart, a 19-year-old Cal Poly freshman, vanished in the early-morning hours of May 25, 1996, and hasnâ€™t been seen since. Most people think she was a victim of foul playâ€”either murdered or accidentally killed, and then buried.
Black says heâ€™s hoping to attract the attention of the major news outlets and prime-time crime shows, and wants to get the word out by the end of this month, when Paul Flores, who has always been under suspicion, faces time in prison for his fourth drunk-driving arrest. Rumor has it, Black says, that some kind of plea bargain may be in the works in which Flores would trade a secret about Smart for a lighter sentence. Flores met Kristin at a party the night she disappeared and was the last person to see her alive, but police have never been able to prove a Flores link to her disappearance.
Smartâ€™s disappearance is coming up on ten years, and on May 20, a â€œHope and Awarenessâ€? run will take place in Arroyo Grande to raise funds for her memorial at the Dinosaur Caves in Shell Beach.