Flores killed SLO County coed while sexual assaulting her, DA alleges

April 14, 2021

Photo by Richard Bastian


Paul Flores murdered Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, who has been missing since 1996, while raping or attempting to rape her, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow alleges.

At a press conference Wednesday, Dow announced his office filed a first-degree murder charge against Paul Flores, 44, and accessory after-the-fact to murder charge against 80-year-old Ruben Flores, the father of Paul Flores.

Ruben Flores helped to conceal Smart’s body after his son committed the murder, Dow said.

During the press conference, Dow said investigators think they know a location where Smart’s body may be. He did not specify the location.

Also, Dow said it is believed that Paul Flores’ dorm room was a crime scene, though he did not specify what is thought to have occurred there.

Investigators additionally believe Paul Flores has victimized other individuals, likely in Southern California. Paul Flores may have sexually assaulted victims in his community of San Pedro or elsewhere in the Los Angeles area.

“Paul Flores was known to frequent bars in the San Pedro area,” Dow said.

Dow is asking anyone with information about criminal conduct committed by Paul Flores to contact San Luis Obispo County Crime Stoppers. He acknowledged Wednesday that no-body homicide cases are complicated and difficult.

“The story of Kristin Smart has touched us all,” Dow said. “Her story has filled us all with determination.”

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. She was last seen near the intersection of Perimeter Road and Grand Avenue. Smart was headed to her dorm room, and Paul Flores, then a 19-year-old freshman walked home from the party with her.

On Tuesday morning, after years of investigators amassing evidence and conducting interviews and searches, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Paul Flores at his San Pedro home and Ruben Flores at his Arroyo Grande home. Detectives have been digging under Rubin Flores’ home in another attempt to find Smart’s body.

Later Tuesday, Parkinson said his detectives found evidence related to Smart’s murder at the homes of both Paul and Ruben Flores.

Paul and Ruben Flores are due in court at 8:30 a.m. Thursday for an arraignment hearing.

Paul Flores is being held in the SLO County Jail without bail. Ruben Flores’ bail is set at $250,000, though the district attorney’s office has indicated it will likely seek that a judge raise the amount.

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If charges include anything sexual especially the word Rape its much easier to get a conviction no matter what … If they have bedsheets or underwear etc etc that LE hasn’t created their own sample of DNA on , then there should have been arrests a long time ago ….It seems SLO LE and the DA are going out on a limb to try to get this case adjudicated .If they don’t find any unfabricated evidence at the suspects houses and they have true evidence or suspects divulge a confession then these 2 suspects should fry .A long time ago I was the victim of law enforcement fabricated evidence and my public defender who still practices in SLO let me be convicted because he didn’t see it either, And i was young and didn’t realize till I analyzed it years later how dumb I was to not realize what I missed.LEO took a paint sample from my right front fender ( passenger fender ) by pulling me over and scraping paint off my fender ( passenger side ) into a plastic bag … At trial for a hit and run charge lab results indicated paint matched in thickness and all 24 colors in sequence from hit and run scene…. But i didn’t nor did my public defender realize the accident in question involved the driver side fender of hit and run suspects car ….Totally Impossible for 24 layers of paint to match on both front fenders in thickness color sequence and so on and so on

I didn’t know there was an election coming up. It seems like the only time we hear from the sheriff and/or DA about this case, is just before an election when they want to appear to be working on it. I certainly hope these guys don’t foul up and do something stupid that will allow jeopardy to attach, and then not be able to finish the job.

The ‘In Your Own Backyard” podcast by Chris Lambert is an excellent detailed investigative look at this case. In my opinion it is one of the best podcasts I have listened to. Chris Lambert was given a ‘shout out’ by the Smart family in the statement they released on Tuesday after Paul and Reuben Flores’s arrest. I would recommend anyone who is interested in this case listen to it. I have lived in SLO county for 45 years and we certainly have had our share of horrific crimes here. I thought I knew all about the Kristin Smart disappearance but Your Own Backyard was amazing in its detail, very easy to listen to and professionally done. I just happened to binge listen to all 8 episodes this past weekend and when I heard of the arrest on Tuesday morning I literally screamed with joy.

That podcast is excellent. My only critique would be episode 6 when they talked to that crazy charlatan Arpad Vass and his snakeoil “DNA radar” machine where they put fingernail clippings from Kristin’s mom in this machine and claimed it can find any nearby familial DNA through some complete fantasy pseudo science resonance theory. Anyone with a basic understanding of biology and physics would know there is no way that could work and if it did, police agencies across the country would be using it all the time.

Of course this “DNA divining rod” magically pointed straight to the Branch Street house (which we now know was NOT the resting place of Kristin’s body). Vass is a fraudster that preys upon the hopes of families desperate to find their loved ones, and to include his DNA hoax machine in the same conversation as legitimate investigative processes just weakens the whole case.

I would do a lot of things for my kids, but I wouldn’t hide a rape/murder. This whole family is guilty.

While many believe that this case has been solved, from what i’ve read this pile of supposition is weak at best. How can they come to the conclusion that Flores was raping Smart as he killed her? It take much more than they have let the public know if they can prove this fact. Also, for me, it takes a lot more than Flores was the last person THAT THEY KNOW OF who was with Smart last leave me wondering who could be the actual “last” person to be with Smart alive.

I hope that the DA haas much more than has been released to the public otherwise the conjecture equals the recent excavation of Poly “P”.

When I look at the photo of Paul Flores, I cannot believe that he is only 44. Seriously, he looks about 65.

I can only hope what he did ate at him over the years and aged him. But that’s assuming he has a conscience.

While I believe Flores is probably guilty, I wonder if Dan Dow is currently channeling his inner Tom Sneddon.

Listening to the podcast yourownbackyard right now. This is some case.

Listened to the entire Podcast this past weekend. A must if you want to know what has really gone on in this case. I was appalled of Susan and her blatant disregard of Kristen’s disappearance. Of course I can’t understand what it was like to be harassed by just about everyone. But then why would she NOT move? The one issue I just can not understand. And with the 4.20am beeping out her window, how could she not know, or at least figure out something involving her son happened. ?? And if she did know, then she needs to be held responsible for any other victims as well. For NOT telling her son was capable of rape and murder.

Another local news source published that Flores’ cell phones were under surveillance recently.

The Sheriff’s Office also secured a court order for surveillance of Paul Flores’ electronic communications, including cell phone and text message records, Parkinson said.

Wouldn’t be surprised if after securing that warrant they started digging in the dad’s backyard and pulled up front-row seats to watch the two Flores idiots implicate themselves.

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