Suspects arrested in murder of Kristin Smart

Police on Tuesday arrested a longtime suspect in the murder of Kristin Smart, a 19-year-old California college freshman who went missing 25 years ago.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said her body had not yet been found.

“I'm here this afternoon to announce the arrest of Paul Flores for the murder of Kristin Smart and the rest of his father, Ruben Flores, as an accessory to the murder… We have not recovered, Kristin. We will continue to focus on finding her remains regardless of any court action.”

Smart was last seen in 1996 walking back from an off-campus party to her campus dorm at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Paul Flores, one of Smart’s classmates, was believed to have been the last person with her before she was reported missing.

Flores had told investigators that he left the party with her shortly before 2 a.m. on May 25, 1996, but said the two parted ways about a block from her dorm.

Flores, a longtime suspect in her disappearance, was taken into custody Tuesday morning in a Los Angeles suburb.

Parkinson said a popular podcast, “Your Own Backyard” released in 2019, had helped the investigation.

“I'll say some of that information came to light through the podcast that many of are familiar with.”

Paul Flores’ first court appearance is scheduled for later this week.