Kristin Smart: Paul Flores found guilty of student’s 1996 murder
Kristin Smart’s former classmate has been found guilty of murdering the California student.
Paul Flores killed Smart, then 19-year-old, a jury in Monterey, California, concluded on Tuesday after a three and a half month trial.
His father Ruben Flores was found guilty of helping to conceal her body, a separate jury ruled.
Smart went missing in May 1996 while walking home from a party attended by classmates at her former college California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.
Her body has never been found, and the murder remained unexplained for 25 years until prosecutors charged Paul Flores, now 45, with murder in April 2021.
His 80-year-old father Paul Flores helped to conceal the body, at his property in Arroyo Grande before moving it in 2020, prosecutors alleged.
The two men were tried at the same time but separate juries deciding their fate.
A verdict was reached in Ruben Flores’ case on Monday, and that decision was sealed pending the jury reaching a decision in Paul Flores’ murder trial.
Paul Flores had been an early suspect in Smart’s disappearance, and was the subject of a wrongful death suit brought by her family in the 1990s.
But it was only after renewed attention on the case after the release of Chris Lambert’s podcast Your Own Backyard in 2019 that the investigation ramped up again.
When the Flores’s were arrested in 2021, authorities credited the investigation with bringing “valuable” new information forward.