Search for Kristin Smart’s body at Cal Poly

September 6, 2016
Kristin Smart

Kristin Smart

More than 20 years since the disappearance of Kristin Smart, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department is excavating a hillside near the Cal Poly “P” in a search for Smart’s remains.

Smart, a native of Stockton, was nearing the end of her freshman year at Cal Poly when she vanished on May 25, 1996 after attending an off-campus party. The 19-year-old was last seen in the company of fellow student Paul Flores who claims he escorted Smart to her dorm, which was relatively empty due to Memorial Day weekend.

The sheriff’s department learned that Smart’s remains may be buried on the Cal Poly hillside. FBI then brought trained cadaver dogs which alerted to several locations near the Cal Poly “P” landmark.

Investigators are performing an excavation that is expected to take up to four days.

A command post is being manned by 25 FBI agents, 15 members of the SLO County Sheriff’s Department and California Department of Fish and Wildlife investigators.

Flores, who dropped out of Cal Poly after Smart’s disappearance, was the initial focus of a police investigation. He has since left the area and is believed to now be living in southern California. He remains a person of interest, according to the sheriff’s department.

He has never denied any involvement in Kristin’s disappearance.

Smart’s parents, Denise and Stan Smart of Stockton, took a civil case of wrongful death against Flores in 2005, but dropped it after Flores pleaded the fifth amendment in court.

Flores has been arrested for DUI three times since 1997 and was sentenced to 240 days in jail for violating his probation after the last DUI.

Kristin Smart was declared legally dead in 2002.


“A command post is being manned by 25 FBI agents, 15 members of the SLO County Sheriff’s Department and California Department of Fish and Wildlife investigators.”

Not to be a sour-puss, but HOLY WASTED MANPOWER, BATMAN!

That is FORTY (40) people to “man” the “command post” – if that’s how many are rolling in the command post, how many peons are they commanding? The fact that someone, somewhere though we needed 40 people to quarantine off a mountain (that has been trampled over for the entire 20 year period), search around and potentially dig… that’s just obscene.

I do hope closure can be brought to the Smart family, as I vividly remember this tragedy (I was attending Cal Poly at the time); but my word, 40 people…


The sheriff’s department learned that Smart’s remains may be buried on the Cal Poly hillside.


20 years after the fact the Sheriff gets a tip? Only a few people would know, Flores, his father, his mother. Somebody just turned state’s evidence.


I agree with you. Someone came forward. And if Kristin really is buried up there perhaps it was whomever helped get her up that mountain. That climb for one person with a body would be tough without help. Even going up the backside of the mountain and then down to the P, it’s narrow and steep – then the downhill portion is steep also.


If she is there, he probably didn’t carry her up there-they probably walked up there together and he killed her there.


We are so fortunate to have Ian Parkinson for our sheriff. I hope they find Kristen and glad they aren’t giving up.


Cortez would have been better.

Russ J

I’ve heard, tell that State Water Coastal Pipe Line was being constructed at the time and could have concealed her body forever.


The “investigators” are likely banking on the probability that it was a crime of opportunity, and thus, poorly planned out (if at all). Most people do not know how to properly dispose of a body, and unless they’re mental, would likely not be thinking clearly during / after the ordeal. Hence “mistakes” are made or things get rushed.

It’s all guesswork, but that’s what gut feelings and leads are for.


Bring Kristen home, let her family bury her bones and know she had the proper burial. The is no such thing as closure, her remains coming home just end that part of the nightmare.

I hope Susan Flores has to go through what the Smart family has had to endure and that is the loss of a child. I hope he is found guilty and executed for what he did.


No way Paul Flores packed a body up that hill and buried it in the time frame he had… Sounds like a Sheriff attempt at positive press. You know how many kids took a deuce up there while defacing the hill??? Why give the family such false hope? Next time you have a BS “Lead”, do it in private, Ian, so you get peoples hopes up.


With family help, definitely possible. I’d guess the FBI dogs can tell the difference from a “deuce” as you call it and a dead body. I’d think the sheriff would have preferred to keep it secret but being a visible place and with students returning something had to be reported


False hope? Do you have a a more realistic theory? ALL leads need to be followed…these parents and loved ones need closure. Get over yourself.


What makes you think he “packed” her up there? Maybe he killed her up there?

I met Paul Flores about two weeks after Smart disappeared. Dude gave me the creeps. He did it, of that I have no doubt.


I went to high school with the a-hole. He was not a weakling. It’s not much of a hike. Theories abound that he called to get help as well.


My understanding is that there is a phone call from Flores to his father late that night; moving a body would have been easy with his help. He also had an almost brand-new truck liner in his vehicle that was suddenly missing without explanation a few days after Kristen disappeared. My money says they find remains at one site, the bed liner at another, and clothing and towels, etc. that were in the wastebasket in one of the other sites.


I’ve always suspected that Flores may have disposed of Kristin’s remains on Camp San Luis Obispo in the hills above the reservoir adjacent to Cal Poly property. In 1996 the base remained open with out any gate guards…unlike since 911.

Kaiser Bill

I hope Kristin is found so her parents can have closure.

Kristin would be almost 40 today, with a family and a career.

If evidence connects Paul Flores to the death of Kristin Smart, he should receive the death penalty.


If guilty, don’t give him the current CA death penalty, which is a isolated cell on death row, and endless supply of appeals which could end up costing the taxpayers millions. Instead just send him to general pop and maybe one of his new friends will take him under their wing and show him the social graces of prison life.

Kaiser Bill

Well, hopefully after this election the Supreme Court is changed, activist judges are gone, and rapists and killers get a quick death sentence.


It’s just a matter of time, Paul Flores. Come clean. It’s just a matter of time…

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