The CBS 48 Hours Kristin Smart’s Murder Case has gotten a lot of attention across the country, putting light on a terrible event that happened more than twenty years ago. The very sad main event of this story is the disappearance of Kristin Smart, a bright student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. In this article, tvacute goes into more detail about how Kristin Smart went missing, the legal fights that followed, and where the convicted killer, Paul Flores, is now.
Who is Paul Flores?
Paul Flores, who is at the center of the Kristin Smart case, was born in California, USA, in 1977. His early life was shaped by his parents, Ruben and Susan Flores, who were both former teachers. Paul went to Arroyo Grande High School and graduated in 1995. He grew up with a brother and a sister. He went to college at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo and majored in industrial technology after graduating from high school.
Kristin Smart was a bright student at Cal Poly who had big plans and dreams. But on May 25, 1996, after going to a party near campus, her life took a terrible turn. Paul Flores, who was also a student at Cal Poly and lived in the same building as her, was last seen walking with her. Flores said he wasn’t guilty, saying that he had left Smart near his room and had nothing to do with her disappearance afterward.
Smart’s family and friends didn’t believe Flores’ story, so they started to wonder what part he played in her death. Others said the police messed up the case by taking too long to search Flores’ dorm room and car, among other things. As more witnesses came forward, they gave important clues that pointed to Flores, like bloodstains on his mattress and statements of the crime. Even with these red flags, the crime case went on for years without being solved.
Smart was officially pronounced dead in 2002. Because of this, her parents sued Flores and his parents for $40 million, saying that they caused her death. People had doubts about the 2007 out-of-court settlement, but it wasn’t until 2016 that the FBI released new information in the case that people became interested again. The podcast “Your Own Backyard” gave more information about Flores’s life and behavior, which brought the case back into the public eye.
Even though Paul Flores denied being involved, several witnesses came forward with strong proof against him. There were reports of bloodstains on Flores’ mattress, confessions of the crime, and suspicious activities like digging in his garden and moving heavy things in his truck that were seen by other people. When the FBI became interested again in Flores in 2016, they searched his properties several times and found evidence linking him to Smart’s death. The big break that everyone had been waiting for came on April 13, 2021. He is charged with murder during a rape or attempted rape. Flores was caught for first-degree murder, and his father, Ruben, who was an entrepreneur from Arroyo Grande, California, was charged as an accomplice after the fact.
Where is Paul Flores Now?
Paul Flores, 47, was found guilty of killing Smart in October 2022. He is locked up at PVSP in Fresno County while serving a 25-year to-life term. His father, Ruben Flores, was found not guilty of trying to hide the body of the victim, though. There have been no charges brought against Susan Flores, who is Paul’s mother. Even so, accusations of blocking the probe and hiding evidence were still going around. The tragic end of Kristin Smart’s life was made public by the thorough investigation and later trial. Even though her body was finally found, it was still strangely unknown what caused her death and how bad her ordeal was.