Kristin Smart case: Images from the investigation and arrest of Paul Flores

Paul Flores is arrested
Paul Flores is arrested by a San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputy on suspicion of killing Kristin Smart, who went missing 25 years ago after leaving a college party.
(San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department)
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Early one Saturday morning nearly 25 years ago, Kristin Smart left a college party near the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus and never returned to her dormitory.

Investigators’ suspicions centered on Paul Flores, a classmate who was the last person seen with Smart. But for decades, despite multiple rounds of interrogations and searches using radar and cadaver dogs, Smart’s body was never found. Without sufficient evidence to implicate him in Smart’s disappearance and presumed death, authorities would only describe Flores as a suspect.

But on Tuesday, San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s detectives arrested Flores, 44, on suspicion of murder and booked him into the county Jail, according to law enforcement sources and jail records. Also arrested Tuesday was Flores’ father, Ruben Ricardo Flores, 80, on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact, according to booking records.

Rubens Flores in the back of a squad car.
Ruben Flores sits in the back of a squad car after he was arrested along with his son Paul.
(San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department)

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A sheriff's deputy uses a radar device.
A sheriff’s deputy uses a radar device in the backyard of Ruben Flores.
(Daniel Dreifuss / For The Times)
Kristin Smart
Kristin Smart disappeared 25 years ago.
(The Record )
Sheriff's deputies search a property.
Sheriff’s deputies investigate in the backyard of Ruben Flores.
(Daniel Dreifuss / For The Times)
Sheriff's officials at rear of vehicle.
Sheriff’s deputies examine data from a search at the Flores home.
(Daniel Dreifuss / For The Times)
A deputy searches property.
A sheriff’s deputy searches the Flores property.
(Daniel Dreifuss / For The Times)
Deputy searches Paul Flores' car in 2020.
An L.A. County sheriff’s deputy searches Paul Flores’ car in San Pedro in February of 2020.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

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Sheriff deputies search Flores' home in 2020.
L.A. County sheriff’s deputies search Paul Flores’ San Pedro property in February 2020.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
A missing-person flier on a pole.
A missing-person flier is posted across from Paul Flores’ home in San Pedro in February 2020.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Paul Flores next to his vehicle.
Paul Flores was released from custody after his home and vehicles were searched in San Pedro in February 2020.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

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