Paul Flores charged with murder of Kristin Smart 25 years later, authorities say

Almost 25 years after Cal Poly rookie Kristin Smart went missing following a frat party, a California man who has been named as the prime suspect in her disappearance has been arrested and charged with her murder.

Paul Flores, who walked to the party’s smart home and was the last person to see her alive in 1996, was taken into custody Tuesday in San Pedro, Calif., And booked into the San County Jail. Luis Obispo.

Flores’ father Ruben Flores, 80, was also arrested and charged with complicity after the fact. Authorities served another search warrant on Ruben’s home in Arroyo Grande on Tuesday.

“Throughout our investigation, Paul Flores has remained a person of great interest,” San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said at a press conference Tuesday announcing the charges against Flores and his father.

Parkinson declined to give details of the new information that led to Tuesday’s arrest, but said authorities obtained new evidence after monitoring Flores’ phone and texts. The arrests come just a month after the sheriff’s office identified Flores as “the prime suspect” in Smart’s case, which has garnered national attention for decades.

Parkinson has confirmed that authorities have yet to recover Smart’s body – but the search will continue.

“It’s not over and we made a commitment to them not to stop until Kristin is well … We make a commitment,” Parkinson said, adding that he had spoken to the Smart family, who “felt a bit of relief. “We’ll find Kristin.”

The sheriff added that throughout the investigation, authorities executed 41 search warrants in 16 locations and compiled 500 police reports. He said physical evidence had been found linking Flores to the disappearance in at least two homes.

Flores, 44, was refused bail, but her father could be released from prison on $ 250,000 bail. The two are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

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