Investigators search for Kristin Smart’s remains in rural Arroyo Grande

July 28, 2021

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

Investigators searched for the body of murdered Cal Poly freshman Kristin Smart in the Huasna area of rural Arroyo Grande on Tuesday morning, several sources said. Since Smart disappeared in 1996, investigators have excavated multiple sites in San Luis Obispo County as they work to return the body to her parents and to convict her alleged killer.

Paul Flores is accused of murdering Smart during an attempted rape in 1996. Charged with accessory after the fact, Ruben Flores is suspected of helping his son dispose of Smart’s body, which prosecutors believe was buried under a deck at his home.

Currently under a gag order, law enforcement is prohibited from discussing Tuesday’s search, though investigators had previously said the Flores family has ties to the Hausna area.

Paul Flores

Tuesday’s search was not the first attempt to find Smart’s remains in the Huasna area, according to a court filing submitted by the prosecution.

In 2004, law enforcement received a tip that Paul Flores had buried Smart in the Huasna area. In 2019, Detective Clint Cole followed up on the tip.

Jennifer Hudson, who encountered Flores at a mutual friend’s house in 1996, told Cole she was skateboarding at a home in San Luis Obispo with her boyfriend when Flores showed up. A commercial about Smart’s disappearance appeared on a television at the home, after which Flores allegedly boasted about killing Smart.

“As the ad finished, Flores said ‘that bitch dick tease. I was at a party with this bitch and all she did was lead me on. I finally had enough of her shit, so I took care of her. I buried her either under or next to the skate ramp out at my place in Huasna,’” the court filing states.

Later, Hudson and her boyfriend drove out to Huasna and found the skate ramp. Upon seeing the skate ramp, Hudson vomited, prosecutors wrote.

In 2020, sheriff’s deputies conducted a search of the area using ground penetrating radar. They also conducted a dig at the location, but did not find any remains.

Investigators now believe Smart was buried under the home of Ruben Flores, and that the Flores family moved the body sometime after a 2020 search and before they returned to Ruben Flores’ property in 2021.

During the 2021 search, investigators discovered human blood and fabric fibers in the place where they believe Smart was buried under Ruben Flores’ deck.

Ground penetrating radar found a six foot by four foot anomaly, and four soil samples taken from the area then tested positive for human blood but not for DNA evidence, records show.

Archeologist Cindy Arrington found staining in the dirt to indicate a body had been put in a hole, a chemical poured over it, the hole filed in and the body moved later.

The soil samples also contained fibers of various colors, including red, blue, brown, black and light colored or no color. When Kristin Smart was last seen, she was wearing red Puma shoes, black shorts with white stripes and a light grey top.

The Smart murder case is proceeding as investigators continue to search for the victim’s remains. Paul and Ruben Flores’ preliminary hearing, which will determine whether enough evidence exists for the case to go to trial, is scheduled to begin Aug. 2.


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Maxfusion

No body, no conviction. No forensics, no conviction, and no I’m not defending this guy. Just stating a fact.


IDBOUND

There is no way the Flores’s can be convicted of the current charges based on evidence found so far….the Flores’s can be convicted based on an emotional guilty verdict or a full confession in open court


Cthulhu Colander

That’s why they are adding the rape charges from LA county. They got nothing for murder, trying to save face for political points. I believe Flores killed Kristin Smart. He threw her in the dumpster and incompetent police waited too long to search the landfill. 25 years later and the find “fibers” under a 50 year old porch? That’s all they have?


Cthulhu Colander

Flores allegedly confessed in front of multiple people 1996 and nobody said anything until 2004? I’m not buying it.


Mark

“Later, Hudson and her boyfriend drove out to Huasna and found the skate ramp. Upon seeing the skate ramp, Hudson vomited, prosecutors wrote.”


Did Hudson then go to the police after throwing up, in 1996?


JThomas

Why the heckle would Hudson go out with someone who admitted he killed someone?


obispan

Read it again…”she was skateboarding at a home in San Luis Obispo with her boyfriend when Flores showed up”.


Realityland

It’s saying that Hudson was with her boyfriend, a different guy, and that Paul showed up and ended up bragging about the killing. Later, the boyfriend (not Paul) and Hudson drove out to the place to find it and upon finding the skate ramp…she vomited.


I’m not sure why that would be so difficult to comprehend, Mr. Friedman wrote a coherent article here. I’m also unsure why her vomiting in that situation is something that would require police intervention or even them needing to know about it.


Mark

My question, though, is did Hudson go to the police after she heard that comment from Flores and seeing he had a skate ramp.


Cthulhu Colander

Not until 8 years later. I believe Flores killed her but the “evidence” is so thin that he will walk again even with an incompetent lawyer.


ghostpepper

Yes, it seems strange that bit wouldn’t have been shared until 25 years later. Unless it was a part of the investigation all this time and only just now being revealed to the general public.


What also seems strange and hard to believe is that Flores would have been so thoughtless as to brag about it in such a blatant way (assuming those words are in fact what he said and Hudson isn’t miss-remembering) and yet still manage to hide his actions from law enforcement for so long.