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 arrested and is being held on $250,000 bond.
During a press conference, authorities confirmed Paul, who is being held without bail, is charged with murder in connection to Kristin’s case. Ruben is being charged for his role as an accessory to the alleged crime.
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.