Could police find Kristin Smart’s body in Paul Flores’s home?
Just because a case goes cold, as many in the true crime world know, doesn’t mean it’s not solvable. Cases, as many people will tell you, tend to need a quick solve rate. Seriously, the fresher the crime, the better police believe they have to solve it. Now, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Some cases just go cold for whatever reason. They can still be solved. Look at the Golden State Killer for example.
Advances in cases, key witnesses coming forward after years, or even a guilty conscience can solve the coldest of cases. It’s what police are hoping for in the 1996 case of Kristin Smart, which has remained unsolved for 25 years. Recently, the police made movements around the main suspect of the Kristin Smart case, Paul Flores. Here’s what you need to know about them.
Who is Kristin Smart?
Kristin Smart was a college student who disappeared at the end of her freshman year of college in 1996. She attended California Polytechnic State University. On May 25, 1996, Kristin Smart was found passed out on the lawn while attending the birthday party of a friend. It was about two in the morning. Two fellow students were able to get Smart awake and walking back to her dorm. They were joined by Paul Flores.
Two of the students departed the group, leaving Paul Flores as the last person seen with Kristin Smart while she was alive. According to Flores, he said that he walked Kristin Smart back to his dorm, which was as far as he wanted to go. Kristin Smart left Paul Flores and headed to her dorm, which is the last believed known sighting of Smart. At the time of her disappearance, Smart did not have any money or credit cards on her.
As with many missing persons cases, campus police believed that Kristin Smart left of her own volition. Around the Memorial Holiday, when Smart disappeared, students took trips all the time. So, there was a delay in reporting her disappearance to police. Eventually, however, she was officially listed as a missing person. Her family, however, believes Kristin Smart to be dead, declaring as such in 2002.
As for Paul Flores? There’s evidence that points to him knowing more than he’s letting on about the disappearance of Kristin Smart. Smart’s earring, for example, was found by the current tenant of an apartment that was formerly occupied by Paul Flores’ mother. Searches for her remains periodically happened between 1996 to 2007 with several of them taking place on properties owned by the Flores family.
In 2016, police excavated an area on the Cal Poly campus for about four days. Cadaver dogs were also brought in as well to look for Kristin Smart’s remains. While her body was not found, they did find items. What kind of items? Investigators have not yet released that to the public. Now, to the present day, a search warrant was executed on Monday, March 15, 2021 at a property belonging to Paul Flores’ father.
Did they find anything?
As police are probably still searching the property at the time of writing this article (Tuesday, March 16), we don’t know yet. They’re using ground penetrating radar on the property in order to see if they can find Kristin Smart’s remains. In addition, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office probably wouldn’t release any evidence that they did find as it’s an ongoing investigation.
In a press release, they said, “The search warrant has been sealed. As a result, we are precluded by law from disclosing any further details regarding it. This is an active and on-going investigation.” Paul Flores did have a weapons charge pressed against him after a search at his LA home in Feb. 2021. As of now, the whereabouts of Kristin Smart’s remain unknown.