Search warrant served in Arroyo Grande in Kristin Smart case

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.