Prosecutors believe that the body of a college student that has been missing since 1996 was “recently” moved from a suspect’s house, where it was allegedly buried.
Investigators said that they are “in possession of biological evidence” that shows Kristin Smart was buried underneath Ruben Flores’ deck in Arroyo Grande, California, and recently moved, according to The Tribune.
Investigators believe that Kristin Smart’s body was recently moved from beneath the deck at the Arroyo Grande home of the father of Paul Flores, who is accused of her murder, according to court records.https://t.co/HbTodBdZrY
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) April 21, 2021
Smart’s body has yet to be found.
Ruben Flores, 80, the father of Paul Flores, 44, was arrested April 13 and charged with being an accessory after the fact.
Paul has been called the prime suspect in Smart’s May 25, 1996 disappearance, and was charged with murdering the college student.
Paul was also a student at the time, and was seen walking with Smart on the way to her dorm at California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo. It is believed by investigators that he was the last person to see her alive. (RELATED: Suspect Arrested In One Of America’s Most Infamous Unsolved Disappearances 25 Years Later)
Court records filed Monday showed that “dozens of women” have claimed that Paul Flores was a “serial rapist” who committed assaults and had displayed “predatory behavior” over the course of 25 years, according to The Tribune.
District Attorney Dan Dow announced at the time of the Flores’ arrests that the prosecution would introduce evidence of past sexual assaults by the murder suspect, The Tribune reported.
More than a month after Smart’s disappearance, investigators were led by cadaver dogs to Flores’ dorm room, where they were “alerted” to a portion of Flores’ mattress, indicating to police that there was a “strong possibility” a dead body had been in the room, The Daily Beast reported.
Flores’ roommate also reportedly told investigators that Flores had told him he killed Smart and “brought her to my mom’s and she is still there.” Flores’ mother’s neighbor told the Daily Beast he witnessed Flores and another young man pour concrete and dig in Susan Flores’ backyard one night.
Prosecutors allege Flores attempted to rape Smart at his dorm room on campus.
Both father and son deny involvement in Smart’s disappearance, and have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. The lead investigator in the case, Sheriff’s Det. Clint Cole, all edges that both men “are involved and it is a family crime,” according to The Tribune.
BREAKING: @SLOSheriff serving a search warrant in connection to 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart at Paul Flores’ family home in Arroyo Grande. Ruben Flores, Paul’s dad, lives here now. According to officials, Paul has been named a prime suspect in the case #kristinsmart @KSBY pic.twitter.com/73gaG1tbNR
— Megan Healy (@MeganHealyTV) March 15, 2021
Det. Cole said if Paul Flores was released, it was possible “he could move the body again,” according to The Tribune.
Both suspects are reportedly scheduled to be back in court on May 17 and June 21.