The “main suspect” in the 25-year-vanishing California college student Kristin Smart was captured Tuesday on suspicion of murder, the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department stated.
The 44-year-old Paul Flores, the last person seen with Kristin before she vanished in 1996, was taken into remand in the Los Angeles area. Ruben Flores, his father, age 80, was also arrested at his Arroyo Grande house.
Ian Parkinson, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff, said, “I requested an overall review of all the physical evidence that had ever been confiscated in the Smart case. In mid-2016, we discovered more evidence that confirmed that Flores was the suspect in the disappearance.”
Paul Flores has been arrested on the charge of murder with zero bails, said Ian Parkinson. His trial will be Thursday. Ruben Flores was booked on accessory to murder with a bail of $200,000, and his trial will depend on whether he will post bail.
Kristin, 19, from Stockton, California, disappeared in May 1996 while returning to her apartment at California Polytechnic State University in Luis Obispo after a party. She was last seen with Paul Flores, who was a student there at the time.
Police have not yet discovered Kristin’s body, but physical evidence associated with her has been recovered, as per the authorities.
“We are not going to stop until Smart has been recovered no matter what the time, no matter what cost,” Parkinson said.
A spokesperson for Kristin’s family gave a statement, saying the day was “heart-wrench”.
“It is not possible to put into words what this day means for the family. We pray it is the beginning to bringing our daughter home,” the issued statement said. “While Kristin’s free spirit will always live in us, our life without her laughs, hugs and smiles is a heartache that never subsides.