Paul Flores Charged With First-Degree Murder in Disappearance of Kristin Smart

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Paul Flores Charged With First-Degree Murder in Disappearance of Kristin Smart” – below is their description.

    Missing California college student Kristin Smart was killed in 1996 during an attempted rape by a fellow student and the suspect’s father helped hide her body, the San Luis Obispo County district attorney said Wednesday.

    Paul Flores will be charged with first-degree murder and his father, Ruben Flores, will be charged with accessory after murder for helping him conceal Smart’s body, which has never been found, District Attorney Dan Dow said.

    The son and father were arrested Tuesday after years of investigations and searches that recently led to evidence connected to Smart’s killing.

    Smart, 19, of Stockton, was last seen May 25, 1996, while returning to her dorm at California Polytechnic State University campus in San Luis Obispo after an off-campus party. She was inebriated at the time and Flores, a fellow freshman at the school, had offered to walk her home.

    Flores killed Smart in his dorm room, Dow said. Investigators, who launched a renewed search Tuesday at his father’s property in nearby Arroyo Grande, believe they know where the body was buried.

    Dow urged the public to come forward with any information they may have about the killing or other crimes Paul Flores may have committed.

    In more recent years, Paul Flores frequented bars around his home in the Los Angeles area of San Pedro and may have committed other sexual assaults, Dow said.

    Flores has been under suspicion from the earliest days of Smart’s disappearance. He has gone from being a “person of interest” to a “suspect” to “the prime suspect” – and, now, defendant.

    San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said the arrests came after a search of the elder Flores’ home last month using ground-penetrating radar and cadaver dogs that turned up new evidence linked to Smart’s killing.

    Smart’s family issued a statement saying it was a bittersweet day they had long waited for and a first step toward bringing their daughter home.

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    In This Story: Rape

    Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent.

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