Kristin Smart 2021 Paul Flores booked on murder charge in case
Kristin Smart Kristin Smart Paul murder booked case on charge in Flores
Tue, 13 Apr 2021 11:00:00 -0700
UPDATE (2:05 p
) – San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson held a press conference at Cal Poly on Tuesday afternoon to officially announce the arrest
UPDATE (2:05 p.m.) – San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson held a press conference at Cal Poly on Tuesday afternoon to officially announce the arrest of Paul Flores for the murder of Kristin Smart.
Cal Poly was the last place the 19-year-old freshman was seen alive nearly 25 years ago.
Sheriff Parkinson laid out the recent timeline leading to Flores’s arrest.
He explained that in late 2016, investigators got ahold of evidence that identified Flores as the prime suspect in Kristin’s disappearance.
Then in 2019, they interviewed at least one new witness that had not been previously interviewed.
Parkinson attributed the “Your Own Backyard” podcast for bringing that new information to light.
With that new evidence, Parkinson said detectives were able to secure a court order to intercept Flores’s electronic communications.
After that, search warrants served at Flores’s home in San Pedro, his parents’ homes in Arroyo Grande, and his sister’s home reportedly yielded evidence for a second search in San Pedro where Sheriff Parkinson says investigators collected evidence related to the murder of Kristin Smart.
A second search at Paul’s father’s home just last month also reportedly yielded evidence that resulted in a judge issuing two more search warrants and two arrest warrants – one for Paul and one for his father, Ruben.
Paul was taken into custody at his San Pedro home Tuesday morning and driven to the San Luis Obispo County Jail where he was booked on a charge of murder.
Ruben Flores was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of being an accessory to the crime.
A search at his home on White Court in Arroyo Grande continued Tuesday afternoon and Parkinson said it could continue into the next day.
Investigators also searched Paul’s house for the third time.
Sheriff Parkinson said the search warrants are sealed so he can not discuss what evidence was found; however, he said investigators have not yet recovered Kristin’s remains.
Parkinson said he spoke to the Smart family on Tuesday, saying, “I think they’re feeling a bit of relief, but as you can imagine, until we return Kristin to them, this is not over.”
He said he believes they are closer to finding Kristin and investigators will continue to focus on locating her remains.
The case has been turned over to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.
Paul Flores is expected in court for arraignment on Thursday.
He is being held without bail.
Ruben Flores is being held with bail set at $250,000.
UPDATE (12:28 p.m.) – Paul Flores was booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail just after noon Tuesday on a single charge of murder.
Booking logs did not show a bail amount.
UPDATE (10:10 a.m.) – Ruben Flores was booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail shortly after 9:30 a.m.
on a single charge of being an accessory after the fact, California Penal Code 32PC.
The 80-year-old’s bail is set at $250,000.
His attorney, Harold Mesick, declined to comment.
UPDATE (8:40 a.m.) – Paul Flores was taken into custody Tuesday morning in San Pedro, reportedly in connection with the disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.
Paul’s father, Ruben Flores, was also reportedly taken into custody at around the same time at his home in Arroyo Grande.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s officials are serving another search warrant at the Arroyo Grande property this morning.
KSBY News reached out to Paul Flores’s attorney, Robert Sanger.
He told us he does not comment on pending cases.
(7:59 a.m.) – The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office is expected to announce “major” new developments in the Kristin Smart case Tuesday afternoon.
KSBY News will broadcast the sheriff’s press conference live over the air and on ksby.com/live starting at 2 p.m.
Smart was a freshman at Cal Poly when she disappeared back in 1996.
According to witnesses, she was last seen with fellow student, Paul Flores, after leaving an off-campus fraternity party in San Luis Obispo and walking back to her dorm.
Early on in the investigation, Flores was identified as a person of interest in Smart’s disappearance.
For the first time just last month, sheriff’s officials referred to him as the “prime suspect” in the case.
That revelation came as sheriff’s investigators served a search warrant at the Arroyo Grande home of Flores’s father, Ruben Flores.
At around 7:45 a.m.
on Tuesday, multiple unmarked law enforcement vehicles were again spotted outside Ruben’s home.
Officials at the scene told KSBY News they are serving another search warrant.
BREAKING: Per @SLOSheriff : search warrant is being served at the home of Ruben Flores in Arroyo Grande.
Detectives spent two days, March 15-16, searching the property on White Court using cadaver dogs and ground-penetrating radar and digging in several spots outside the house.
They also hauled away an old Volkswagen.
It was the third search targeting Paul Flores and his family in just over a year.
In February 2020, his parents’ and sister’s homes were searched on the same day detectives searched Paul’s home in San Pedro.
Digital devices were reportedly seized.
In April 2020, the San Pedro property was searched a second time.
In February of this year, Paul was arrested on a weapons charge that sheriff’s officials said was the result of information obtained during the 2020 searches.
However, investigators have not yet revealed whether any evidence related to the Kristin Smart case was found.
May 25, 2021 marks 25 years since Kristin’s disappearance.
While her body has never been found, she was declared legally dead on May 25, 2002.
She would have been 44-years-old this past February.
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Kristin Smart Kristin Smart
Tue, 13 Apr 2021 11:00:00 -0700
Smart was 19 and a college student in San Luis Obispo, Calif
, when she vanished while walking to her dorm from an off-campus party
Smart was 19 and a college student in San Luis Obispo, Calif., when she vanished while walking to her dorm from an off-campus party.
Two men have been arrested in connection with the disappearance 25 years ago of the California college student Kristin Smart, the authorities said on Tuesday.
Paul Flores, who was the last person to see Ms.
Smart on the day she disappeared in May 1996 and whom the authorities had declared in recent months to be a “prime suspect” in the case, was taken into custody at his home in San Pedro, Calif., on Tuesday, Ian Parkinson, the San Luis Obispo County sheriff, said at a news conference.
“This is where it all began, on the campus of Cal Poly,” Sheriff Parkinson said at the conference, adding, “this was the last place that Kristin Smart was seen alive.”
Flores was booked at the San Luis Obispo County jail on a murder charge, according to jail records.
He is being held without bail, the sheriff said.
His father, Ruben Flores, was arrested at his home in Arroyo Grande, Calif., Sheriff Parkinson said.
The Tribune of San Luis Obispo reported that sheriff’s deputies searched his home on Tuesday morning, drawing a crowd of onlookers.
The sheriff said that the search warrants were sealed and that he could not discuss what evidence was found.
“We have not recovered Kristin,” he said.
“We will continue to focus on finding her remains.”
Sheriff Parkinson said the case had been turned over to the district attorney’s office.
Harold Mesick, a lawyer for Ruben Flores, declined to comment on Tuesday but confirmed that his client had been arrested and charged with accessory after the fact.
Ruben Flores, 80, was booked into the San Luis Obispo County jail on a $250,000 bond, according to jail records.
Smart, 19, was a student at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo when she vanished as she was walking back to her dorm room from an off-campus party on May 25, 1996.
Paul Flores, 44, who was a Cal Poly student at the time, has denied being involved in her disappearance, but after previously describing him as a person of interest in their investigation, the Sheriff’s Office began to refer to him in recent months as a “prime suspect” in the case.
In March, the Sheriff’s Office said it had obtained a warrant to search for evidence at Ruben Flores’s residence, and they used cadaver dogs and ground-penetrating radar to canvass the property.
Robert Sanger, a lawyer for Paul Flores, declined to comment on Tuesday.
In a statement, the Smart family described a long wait for “this bittersweet day.”
“It is impossible to put into words what this day means for our family,” the statement said.
“We pray it is the first step to bringing our daughter home.”
The family added, “We now put our faith in the justice system and move forward, comforted in the knowledge that Kristin has been held in the hearts of so many and that she has not been forgotten.”
Armstrong, president of the university, said on Tuesday that the news of the arrests “brings sadness but also a measure of relief and hope for resolution.”
The authorities had previously searched the homes of both Ruben Flores and Paul Flores.
In February 2020, investigators executed search warrants at four locations in California and Washington State and recovered “some items of interest,” Tony Cipolla, a spokesman for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, said at the time.
The authorities also said that they had seized as evidence two trucks that belonged to members of the Flores family in 1996, and that 37 pieces of evidence collected after Ms.
Smart’s disappearance had been submitted for modern DNA testing.
Smart disappeared, her family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Paul Flores, who the authorities said had told them that he walked her only as far as his dorm, where they parted ways.
In February, he was arrested by the police in Los Angeles on a charge of firearms possession by a felon, according to jail records.
His bail was set at $35,000.
He had previously been convicted of driving under the influence, according to public records.
Smart’s family had her declared legally dead in 2002.
The circumstances surrounding her disappearance continued to draw national attention in the decades since she was last seen alive, with the CBS true-crime show “48 Hours” dedicating an episode to the case in November.
“It is my hope that we are able to take the first steps for justice for the Smart family, peace for the community, some justice out there for all of us, and most especially Kristin,” Sheriff Parkinson said.
– April 13, 2021
Paul Flores, kristin smart case, Kristen Smart