Kristin Smart case: Paul Flores, prime suspect, arrested nearly 25 years after her disappearance, reports say

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Paul Flores, the man named as the prime suspect in the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, was arrested early Tuesday in California, according to reports.

Flores was taken into custody by San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s officials, the Los Angeles Times and local station KSBY-TV reported.

Flores’ father, Ruben, also was arrested at his home in the city of Arroyo Grande, according to news outlets.

Kristin Smart was a student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, when she vanished while walking home from a party in 1996. (FBI via AP, File)
(FBI via AP)

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

The sheriff’s office earlier on Tuesday said it will announce “major developments” in the investigation at 2 p.m. local time.

Flores, who was a student with Smart at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, was believed to be the last person seen with her before the 19-year-old vanished while walking back to her dorm after a party.


In the nearly 25 years since Smart’s disappearance, Flores has denied any wrongdoing. He invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not answer questions before a grand jury and in a deposition for a lawsuit that Smart’s family brought against him in civil court.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson named Flores as the “prime suspect” in the case last month and investigators searched his father’s home and property in Arroyo Grande, about 15 miles south of the university, using ground-penetrating radar and cadaver dogs.

Search warrants were served last year on Flores’ home in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles and at other locations in California and Washington state. Investigators conducted digs on the campus in 2016.

The Associated  Press contributed to this report.

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