Body missing, suspect arrested in ’96 student disappearance

Body missing, suspect arrested in '96 student disappearance
FILE - This undated photo released by the FBI shows Kristin Smart who disappeared in 1996. Source: FBI via AP
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Daily US Times: Paul Flores was the last person seen with Kristin Smart, who was 19 at that time before the disappearance of her from a college campus on California’s Central Coast nearly 25 years ago and suspicion has followed him ever since.

Flores went from being a “person of interest” to a “suspect” to “the prime suspect” in the case.

Investigators never had enough evidence to charge Flores with a crime related to disappearance of Smart until Tuesday, when he was arrested on suspicion of murder in Smart’s death. Ruben Flores, the father of Mr Flores, was arrested as an accessory to the crime.

Ian Parkinson, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff, said arrests came after a search of the elder Flores’ home last month using ground-penetrating radar and cadaver dogs turned up new evidence linked to her killing, though her body has not yet been located.

Parkinson said: “Until we return Kristin to (her family) this is not over.”

Smart 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. Flores was a fellow freshman at the school at the time and had offered to walk her home.

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

Flores, now 44-years-old, was arrested at his home in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles and taken to a police car in handcuffs wearing pajama bottoms and a surf T-shirt.

His father, 80, was arrested at his Arroyo Grande home.

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