Police: Kristin Smart’s Body Previously Buried in Murder Suspect’s Dad’s Backyard

Authorities believe Kristin Smart’s body, which has never been found, was recently removed from Ruben Flores’ home.

Police: Kristin Smart’s Body Previously Buried in Murder Suspect’s Dad’s Backyard

San Luis Obispo, California – Authorities allege in court documents that the body of Kristin Smart was at one time buried in the backyard of her suspected murderer’s father.

The court documents claim that Smart’s body was recently moved from 80-year-old Ruben Flores’ home, reports CBS News. Her body has never been recovered.

Ruben Flores’ son, Paul Flores, 44, is the prime suspect in the 1996 disappearance of the former California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo student.

Paul Flores, who was arrested on suspicion of murder last week, was the last person seen with Smart before she disappeared on May 25, 1996. He was arrested in his Los Angeles home, and his father was arrested as an accessory in his Arroyo Grande residence.

Authorities allege that Paul Flores killed Smart during the commission of a rape or attempted rape, reports KSBY. They also believe his father helped conceal Smart’s body after the murder.

Ruben Flores has pleaded not guilty to accessory to murder charges, and his son has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

At the time that Smart vanished, she was a 19-year-old California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo freshman and was seen returning to a college dorm room after an off-campus party in San Luis Obispo, reports KCRA. Paul Flores was a fellow student and was seen escorting Smart home from the party. She was reported missing three days later to campus police and declared dead in 2002.

Since 2011, the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office has served 41 search warrants related to Smart’s disappearance, searched 16 properties and conducted 137 interviews, reports KABC. They searched Paul Flores’ property several times.

Paul Flores has always been the prime suspect but has refused to comment on Smart’s disappearance. He also faced weapons charges in February and has had drunk driving convictions over the years.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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