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New Search Warrant Served In Connection With 1996 Disappearance Of Central Coast College Student

(San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office photo)
Officers set up for search at Arroyo Grande home in connection with 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart

There’s a new development in the investigation of the disappearance of a Central Coast college student nearly a quarter of a century ago.  Kristin Smart was last seen walking home from a party at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in May of 1996.  Investigators believe she was abducted, and murdered.

A search warrant has been served at the Arroyo Grande home of the father of the man San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s detectives are calling the prime suspect in the case.  The warrant covers the home of Ruben Flores, the father of Paul Flores. 

Flores was the last know person seen with the 19-year-old woman.  He had offered to walk her back to her dorm.  He told investigators he left her near the building.

The warrant allows the use of cadaver dogs, and ground penetrating radar at the home.  The warrant is sealed, so no other details are being released.  Detectives have served a number of warrants on Flores over the decades.

In 2016, detectives did some digs on a site near Smart’s dorm.  At the time, investigators said they recovered some items which were being tested to see if they are connected to the case.  But, they’ve never said if what they found is actual evidence.