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May 12, 2021
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Kristin Smart’s 1996 Disappearance: Arrests Made in Connection With Missing College Student

More than two decades after college student Kristin Smart went missing, there’s been a long-awaited break in the case.

Authorities arrested Paul Flores, Kristin’s former classmate at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, on Tuesday, April 13. Booking records obtained by E! News also confirm that Paul’s father, Ruben Flores, was also arrested and is being held on $250,000 bond.

Ruben’s attorney, Harold Mesick, had no comment when reached by E! News. Attorney Robert Sanger confirmed to E! News that he is representing Paul but declined to comment, citing the case’s pending nature.

In May 1996, Kristin, then 19 years old, disappeared while walking home from an off-campus party. According to NBC News, a friend of Kristin’s told authorities they saw her and Paul returning to campus on the night she went missing. Despite no body every being found, she was legally declared dead in 2002.

Renewed interest in the cold case grew thanks in part to the 2019 podcast In Your Own Backyard, which reexamined the investigation into Kristin’s disappearance as well as Paul and his family’s whereabouts before, during and after May 25, 1996. 

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