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.

San Louie

I suspect all it would take to get a confession is a couple of gallon jugs of water and an opaque pillow case. If it turned out to be more difficult than I expect it would, a cordless drill with a 1″ wood spade bit would do the trick…


I’m sure that using your suggested methods to extract a “confession” on yourself, we would all be relieved to know that you are the murderer.



This is the first I’ve heard in 20 years of the possibility that she was buried at CP. She is either in the Flores backyard or in the countryside East of their house. C’mon, she was 6’1″ and weighed 145. There is no way he is carrying her more than 100′ at night in uneven terrain. Also, what college student keeps a shovel in their dorm room??


We all hope that Ms. Smart’s remains will be finally found and laid to rest and that her family will have some closure and that justice will be done. Amen.

However, I’m very worried! 25 federal agents on the job. That means incompetence is the rule of the day, as well as a total lack of accountability.

I fear the feds will dig up the hillside, leave it looking ugly and create a mudslide. I fear they won’t find a thing and will just make a big mess.

So, while we hope and pray for a good outcome, I predict we’ll see nothing but a scarred hillside and a reminder of how incredibly incompetent government is, not to mention how expensive it is to clean up the messes they create.


You have way too much fear in your life. You are pathetic…family looking for closure and you are worried about a hillside being dug up…pathetic!


I also want the family to have justice. And I’m not as much concerned about a hillside as the incompetence and lack of accountability when the feds come in. I’m worried the FBI will make it more difficult for the family.

And when it’s all over, we can look up at the hillside and be instructed.

We shall see. Let’s hope I’m 100% wrong.


In six months there will be no sign of the hillside being torn up.


If normal people were doing the digging, yes. But the feds are digging.

Prediction: nothing is found. FBI=Three Stoogesx8+1.

Arrogance+incompetence to the power of big government. They have a long track record of screwups and out and out lies, especially when it comes to DNA evidence.

I’d feel much better if an archaeology team was doing the digging, with a couple sheriff’s watching and keeping the site secure. Feds and backhoes…..


This is more of a question than comment.

Back when this happened, was it campus police and SLO PD that ran this investigation?

How does the Sheriff’s department get jurisdiction? Is it because of WHERE the body MAY be located?

If anyone knows the history of this, I would be interested to hear/read.

As a parent, I would feel some comfort in knowing that Kristin Smart is being looked for. I for one care about what happened to her. She isn’t far from my age, and it seems like everyone really believes this Flores guy did it. There really hasn’t been any doubt about that.

Kaiser Bill

It was Cal Poly University Police which incompetently ran the investigation back in ’96.

Kristin Smart’s parents CALLED and reported their daughter missing a few days after Memorial Day Weekend. The Poly PD told them to hold off, that Kristin would probably show up! Doubtless, this has happened many times with University PDs, but still, one would think they would actually give a crap about a missing student…

A few weeks go by…

Cal Poly University PD finally files a Missing Persons case on Kristin Smart after 2 weeks! Cal Poly Campus PD lost critical time to gather evidence and find out what happened to Kristin Smart.

Kristin’s parents are SHOCKED at how they were they were treated by Cal Poly and the University Police Department. Kristin’s dad was a School Administrator up in Napa, and was familiar with legal requirements that mandate that ALL school employees must report criminal acts like child abuse immediately. The Smart Family wonders why this same standard does not apply to California public universities.

So the Smart family lobbied Governor Wilson, and he shepherded through a law named after Kristin Smart that mandates that all California University and College Police Agencies must call for mutual aid and help in certain cases like missing persons!

IF there is some good in the Kristin Smart tragedy, it is that there is now a law on the books in CA to prevent another incompetent Kampus Keystone Kops agency like Cal Poly PD from bungling an investigation.

As a side note, the SLO PD was also SLO to help in the Kristin Smart case. The incompetence of the SLO PD in the Kristin Smart case was the main reason why SLO Police Chief Jim Gardiner lost the Sheriff’s election in 1998 to Undersheriff and good ole boy redneck Pat Hedges in 1998.

San Louie

At the very beginning Cal Poly’s own (State of CA) police force had jurisdiction. The SLOC Sheriff’s Office was brought it quickly as the CP Cops simply didn’t have the resources. SLOPD had nothing to do with this.

Mitch C

I hope I am wrong, but this is a wild goose chase. I’ve walked to the Poly P and I can assure you that it is difficult during the day and impossible at night. The size of the cadre further erodes my faith in government… Is it really necessary to have 60 or so highly paid law enforcement standing around holding their ***** while a backhoe operator digs some holes.


Everyone keeps saying it would be too hard to drag a dead body up the hill to bury her, but what if she walked up to the P with her killer?

It’s a lot easier to drag dead weight down a hill…

Dig a shallow grave in a gully and with the first rain grass sprouts and the earth scrape disappears.

20 years later brush could have easily grown over the site.

Of course this could all be a wild goosechase too!

Jorge Estrada

Curious about Flores behavior pattern at this moment? Is he drinking this away or does he want to help in the search? Regardless of whatever cloche be worn, time will tell. This additional wrong doing to the family is another crime in itself.


There is a private investigator who has followed this case from almost the beginning. Paul has had lots of problems in his life since leaving Cal Poly.


A command post is being manned by 25 FBI agents


Good point. That’s absurd. A couple of people would suffice.

And I see that they brought a digger. Doesn’t seem right. It’s not like she’d be 6 ft under. He would have been under a lot of pressure. He would only have dug a couple of feet down. Seems the first scoop of a digger could damage evidence.

Indy thinker

Then head up there with your spoon and show them how its done. You got all those archeological excavations under your belt…. right? Why didn’t the police call you first?


The rumor I heard was that she was buried under the PAC. A construction zone seems easier than a hike up the hill.