Exclusive: Neighbors point to Flores’ yard as likely location of Kristin Smart’s body

April 26, 2021

The second layer of bricks partially finished in Paul Flores’ back yard

Editor’s Note: CalCoastNews reporters conducted multiple interviews with neighbors of Paul Flores over the past year. Several sources asked that their names not be disclosed in articles.

By KAREN VELIE and JOSH FRIEDMAN

Kristin Smart case investigators did not find her body below the deck of a house in Arroyo Grande owned by murder suspect Paul Flores’ father. They did find evidence that a body had once been buried there. Now, neighbors in the San Pedro neighborhood where Paul Flores lived for more than a decade, say he buried something in his back yard about a year ago.

SLO County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle declared in documents used in a bail reduction hearing for Paul Flores and his father Ruben Flores that investigators had found evidence that a body had been buried under the father’s deck.

“The excavation below his deck . . . showed damning evidence that a body had been buried in that location and then recently moved,” Peuvrelle said in a written statement filed in court, The Washington Post reported April 21.

The documents, a part of a county probation report, were inadvertently placed online and accessed, Nikki Rodriguez, spokesperson for the San Luis Obispo Superior Court, told CNN. The documents were published by the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

Kristin Smart

Neighbors, who asked not to be identified in this story, were suspicious when Paul Flores, who had left his back yard overgrown with weeds for years, began removing the brush in 2019.

Paul Flores dug a large hole in a rear corner of his back yard after that, his neighbors said.

Some weeks later, and shortly before midnight, one of the neighbors saw Paul Flores take something wrapped in a black blanket from the trunk of his car. The neighbor watched as he carried the object to his back yard and put it in the hole. He covered the hole with plywood.

The next day, the neighbor asked Paul Flores what he had put in the hole. He said it was his dead dog, the neighbor recalled. But the neighbors say they did not believe he had any dogs then.

After that, Paul Flores built a roughly 10-by-15-foot wood frame around the hole and placed rebar, metal reinforcing bars, inside.

He rented a concrete truck and filled the frame. Once the concrete set, Paul Flores laid red bricks over the concrete. CalCoastNews reported on and published pictures of bags of cement on Paul Flores’ front porch about a year ago.

Bags of concrete stacked on Paul Flores’ front porch a year ago

He was working to add a second layer of bricks when he was arrested on April 13, 2021.

“It was weird to me,” a neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said. “You don’t put bricks over bricks.”

Shortly after Paul Flores buried the object in his back yard, he acquired two mixed pit bulls, a female named Lucy, and her pup. The pup died about a month or two ago. Flores then brought home another dog, a pit bull, which neighbors describe as vicious.

After deputies arrested Paul Flores, his dogs remained in the back yard. Neighbors threw food over the back fence and tried to get animal control to pick up the dogs. Several days ago, the dogs broke out and a neighbor took the animals to his home.

Deputies left the dogs in the backyard because a relative of Flores was supposed to take care of the property following the arrest, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said.

A deputy escorting Paul Flores from his San Pedro home

Since Paul Flores’ arrest, people have been in and out of his home, doors have been left open and it appears the property is vacant, neighbors said. Neighbors also said it appeared there was a squatter in the house for several days.

On Wednesday afternoon, the home was targeted in what the Los Angeles Police Department, which has jurisdiction in San Pedro, classified as an attempted burglary.

Paul Flores remains incarcerated in San Luis Obispo County Jail where he is being held without bail. Ruben Flores was released on bail Thursday morning.

Prosecutors also claimed in the bail documents that Paul Flores was believed to be a serial rapist.

“Dozens of women have recounted Paul Flores’ sexual assaults and predatory behavior that document his twenty-five years as a serial rapist,” Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle wrote in the report, CNN reported.

Investigators have said that Paul Flores killed Smart during an attempted sexual assault and his father helped hide the body. Paul Flores and Smart were both students at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, at the time of her disappearance.

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newscruzer1

The Smart Case!


newscruzer1

Welcome to the new normal where anyone with a cell phone and computer can now invent themselves as what has become known as a citizen journalist.

What most are unaware of is just what a true watchdog for the people are willing to put themselves through in order to gather information thats informative and helpful for the over all common good.

Truth be known a journalist and law enforcement officers for the most part are on the same side of justice, not wanting to see innocent people being hurt, taken advantage of by those wielding power and a big stick.

The investigative reporters carry a heavy spotlight, willing to shine that bright light into dark corners where hidden facts are kept from seeing the light of day.

Think theres not a heavy price to pay when that tight knit circle has been breached, think again.

In these times of uncertainty, not knowing what tomorrow is going to bring, all, world over sensing something big is blowing in the wind, bringing changes, not yet knowing just what those might be, all hoping for the better, for time enough in mans twisted past much suffering, more than any wanted to see or be made to deal with, enough is enough, so, as we pray, let us do so in earnest that when the winds of change come whispering in our ear that it will wake us up to pay attention, so that we may follow direction, taking heed, there is a spirit beckoning for our attention in these urgent times of a God with purpose is taking the lead to guide us into that bright future we’ve all been so long praying to come, that it will at last be fulfilled.

Interesting how reason now has become out of season, the sharp dividing lines drawn, just as what was reviled to King Nebuchadnezzar when Daniel Interpreted the dream of the iron and the clay.

Reasoning minds being shown as bickering birds.

Who of us just a few short years ago would of thought we would be witnessing the likes of what were experiencing today, grown men failing to come together and reason for the common good for all.


PasoLyn

Here’s the difference between Cal Coast News and Your Own Backyard Podcast. Whenever Chris Lambert received information that was critical to the investigation, he didn’t exploit it in his podcast, he delivered it to the investigators of this case. Cal Coast News, on the other hand, writes this article…….And I’m leaving a reply which further motivates this kind of journalism. Shame on me.


Karen-Velie

After interviewing neighbors and discovering Kristin Smart’s remains could be in San Pedro, I quickly contacted law enforcement with the information and then waited to the next week to post an article. If you have concerns with my reporting, you can call me at (805) 234-1703.


horse_soldier

What is your assumption based on?


Cindy

The CCN reporters drove down to LA and interviewed neighbors. They were able to discover Paul buried something in his backyard. This was strait gum shoe reporting and could lead to the Smart family recovering their daughter’s remains.


This is great journalism. I wonder what your motivation to attack them without any cause is. Also, what makes you know what their motivation to report important news to the community is?


Michael A.

Why would anyone bury human remains (that they killed) in their own yard? I know the Flores’s don’t come across as sophisticated but come on, This just smells of wishful thinking.


ExSpyInAG

A person might decide to do this to maintain positive control of the damning evidence. If you bury someone on your property, Law Enforcement must obtain a warrant to search. There is an evidentiary hurdle that must be overcome to get that warrant, giving the criminals some ability to watch over the burial site as well as some protection from search.


If one were to place a body on public lands, they would not have either of those theoretical advantages.


ExSpyInAG

Interesting discussion!

I’ve lived in AG for 10 years now, listened to Chris Lambert’s podcast and come from the Intelligence community.


All I can say is if anyone in the Flores family has ever emailed, texted or said anything on the phone about their involvement in this deplorable crime, Law Enforcement most likely has that evidence. Despite some neighbors saying Paul is “intelligent,” nobody in that family strikes me as a MENSA candidate, so I’d bet they weren’t nearly careful enough.


My theory is the Podcast (generating renewed public interest) caused the Flores family to get nervous and to talk electronically. When they did, their fate was sealed. Law Enforcement collected their devices with warrants last year. This was likely the first domino to fall leading to the subsequent search and arrest warrants.


Gramelin

There is such things as ground penetrating equipment that can see beyond his concrete and bricks. I am bewildered why every inch of all their properties have not had the 100% inspect. And the ONE area at his mothers house where the dogs alerted to. Was the only space in her yard that did not get the imaging?? How does that make sense>? You know, according to the tenants, the place where her watch kept going on at 4:20 in the morning.

I can’t imagine this would be Kristen here though. Maybe another victim?


ExSpyInAG

For me, the alleged use of rebar would be very telling. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) can not get a very usable signal through concrete reinforced with rebar.

The metal scatters the signal.


If Paul Flores used rebar on his little brick patio, I’d guess this was specifically done to obscure a GPR search. Unless he was planning on parking a tank in his backyard, I can’t think of any other reason you’d need reinforcement in a backyard patio.


pnishaven

Flock people, its not just ‘the body’! Have some respect for the Smart family and for Kristin!