September 22, 2021

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Kristin Smart case: Images from the investigation and arrest of Paul Flores – Los Angeles Times

2 min read

Early one Saturday morning nearly 25 years ago, Kristin Smart left a college party near the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus and never returned to her dormitory.

Investigators’ suspicions centered around Paul Flores, a classmate who was the last person seen with Smart. But for decades, despite multiple rounds of interrogations and searches using radar and cadaver dogs, Smart’s body was never found. Without sufficient evidence to implicate him in Smart’s disappearance and presumed death, authorities would only describe Flores as a suspect.

But on Tuesday, San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s detectives arrested Flores, 44, on suspicion of murder and booked him into the San Luis Obispo County Jail, according to law enforcement sources and jail records. Also arrested Tuesday was Flores’ father, Ruben Ricardo Flores, 80, on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact, according to booking records.

Ruben Flore is arrested for accessory after the fact by the San Luis Obispo Sheriffs Dept. in the murder of Kristin Smart.

Ruben Flore is arrested for accessory after the fact by the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department in the murder of Kristin Smart.

(San Luis Obispo Sheriffs Departm/ San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Depart)

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San Luis Obispo Sheriff uses a ground penetrating radar to search for the body of Smart in the backyard of Ruben Flores.

San Luis Obispo Sheriff uses a ground penetrating radar to search for the body of Kristen Smart in the backyard of Ruben Flores.

(Daniel Dreifuss/For The Times)

Kristin Smart disappeared 25 years ago.

Kristin Smart disappeared 25 years ago.

(The Record )

San Luis Obispo Sheriff use a ground penetrating radar to search for the body of Kristen Smart in the yard of Ruben Flores.

San Luis Obispo Sheriff use a ground penetrating radar to search for the body of Kristen Smart in the backyard of Ruben Flores.

(Daniel Dreifuss/For The Times)

San Luis Obispo Sheriff look at the results of ground penetrating radar.

San Luis Obispo Sheriff look at the results of ground penetrating radar as they search for the body of Kristen Smart in the backyard of Ruben Flores.

(Daniel Dreifuss/For The Times)

San Luis Obispo Sheriff uses a ground penetrating radar to search for the body of Kristen Smart in the yard of Ruben Flores.

San Luis Obispo Sheriff uses a ground penetrating radar to search for the body of Kristen Smart in the backyard of Ruben Flores.

(Daniel Dreifuss/For The Times)

L.A. County Sheriff search the car of Paul Flores in February of 2020 in San Pedro in the case of student Kristin Smart.

L.A. County Sheriff deputies search the car of suspect Paul Flores in February of 2020 in San Pedro in the case of missing student Kristin Smart.

(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

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Sheriff deputies search the San Pedro home of a suspect Paul Flores in the case of missing student Kristin Smart

Sheriff deputies search the San Pedro home of a suspect Paul Flores in the case of missing student Kristin Smart in February, 2020.

(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

A missing person flyer is still posted on a telephone pole across the street from the home of Paul Flores in San Pedro.

A missing person flyer is still posted on a telephone pole across the street from the home of Paul Flores in San Pedro in February, 2020.

(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

Paul Flores is released from custody after his home and vehicles were searched in San Pedro in February, 2020.

Paul Flores is released from custody after his home and vehicles were searched in San Pedro in February, 2020.

(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

More visual journalism for the Los Angeles Times

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