Deputies search for Kristin Smart’s remains in Arroyo Grande

March 15, 2021

Kristin Smart

Deputies are searching a residential property on the 700 block of White Court in Arroyo Grande for the remains of Kristin Smart, a Cal Poly student who was last seen on May 25, 1996, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

Earlier today, deputies served a sealed search warrant at the home of Ruben Flores. He is the father of Paul Flores, the only suspect in the disappearance of Smart in 1996.

Investigators are utilizing cadaver dogs and ground penetrating radar during their search, which could take one to two days to complete. Non-resident traffic in the area could be restricted.

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 then-fellow student Paul Flores, who claims he escorted Smart to her dorm, which was relatively empty over the Memorial Day weekend.

On February 5, 2020, sheriff’s deputies served warrants at four separate locations, including at Paul Flores’s house and the Arroyo Grande home of his mother. The same day, investigators also served warrants at an undisclosed location in SLO County and at a location in Washington State.

Then in April 2020, investigators served another search warrant at the Los Angeles area home of Paul Flores.

Last month, Los Angeles police officers arrested Paul Flores in Rancho Palos Verdes on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Officers then booked Flores into the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center. He was soon released from custody.


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Rambunctious

Okay this will be unpopular as hell but what if they find nothing?…will anyone say maybe Paul is innocent?…how can anyone be so sure that Kristen didn’t get home and leave again?…I’m not saying Paul is innocent of this crime but at some point it becomes harassment unless some evidence is found….25 years and nothing not even a body….it could be that the real villain was not ever looked at…


sloweb

It is a shame when you have to worry about the popularity of your comments amongst these drag-him-out-and-lynch-him comments. I have not seen any facts presented here that point to his guilt, just rumors and innuendo. Not too surprising in this age of social media convictions. If LEO had any real evidence, he would be in jail.


Answer4U

Let’s wait and see.


obispan

Hopefully they have something new, I doubt it. Ruben was a disgraced former Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy. I don’t think he’d be stupid enough to bury a body in his yard, I sure wouldn’t. My guess is the dumpster behind Paul’s dorm room emptied daily before 7am or the cliffs of Upper Lopez Canyon Road where I have pissed upon the tops of large oaks below where no human hunter or hiker has ever traveled. After Cal Poly’s obstruction of the investigation, the S.O. excavated 8,000 cu yds at Cold Canyon Landfill, didn’t get close to identifying any refuse from campus.


derasmus

Just curious, anyone know how many (or if any) of the current Poly police Department staff were on the force when this happened?


Answer4U

None whatsoever, they’ve all retired. Most of the department is now made up of officers with experience from larger law enforcement agencies.


derasmus

Thanks


slo-to-load

Let’s hope they finally find some evidence to make charges stick against that POS Paul Flores. He would have been arrested, tried, and convicted decades ago if it wasn’t for the criminally inept bumbling of this case by incompetent Cal Poly police detective Mike Kennedy and rest of his squad of keystone cops. Instead of taking responsibility for their blatant mishandling of the case, Kennedy attempted to shift the blame to the victim for her own murder by spreading cruel rumors and lies about Kristin to justify his apathetic inaction to investigate this case. Those malicious falsehoods sadly distorted public opinion about this case for years afterwards. I don’t know how they can sleep at night knowing they not only let a sociopath get away with murder for over two decades, but also tarnished the reputation of the innocent victim in their selfish and pathetic attempt to save face.


obispan

From a Cal Poly employee, I know and are aware of the rumors and lies spread by Cal Poly and why they did it. I would never mention them here, but if you get in touch with me I may be able to get you in touch with my source.


paragon

I think it’s obvious to everyone why they did it. It’s a typical tactic of inept police to engage in victim shaming by spreading lies that paint a false narrative about the victim’s choices, morals, and lifestyle in a sad attempt to try to rationalize their abject lack of diligence in investigating this horrible crime.


coyote

There’s a reason that they’re UC campus cops and it’s not because they’re adept at criminology


Answer4U

Mike Kennedy was a good homicide detective with experience from another agency. Rumors are that the university president at the time ordered the investigation be shut down.


obispan

They thought it was just going to go away, like everything else they’ve buried for P.R. purposes over the years. Cal Poly only has a police force to control information. Like the murder investigation was, all policing at Poly should be contracted to the Sheriff’s Dept., or SLOPD, and the Cal Poly Police disbanded with the exception of parking enforcement. Cheaper and more competent and transparent.