Kristin Smart’s case saw a staggering development this week when the father of her alleged killer was arrested under charges of moving her body from underneath his deck.
Kristin was a former California Polytechnic State University student who disappeared in 1996 while walking home from a party. The last person to see Kristin alive was Paul Flores, a man who is currently being accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women over the last 25 years.
In 2020, police searched Paul’s San Pedro residence and discovered some “items of interest” on the property. When no leads came out of the findings, investigators turned their attention toward his father, Ruben Flores.
While searching Ruben’s Arroyo Grande home, authorities discovered DNA evidence underneath his deck that is likely linked to Kristin. However, it appeared that the body had been “recently” moved and is still yet to be found.
Paul and Ruben were arrested on April 13 under first-degree murder charges. Both men had plead not guilty to their charges on Monday. Paul is currently being held without bail, but his father was released late Wednesday after his bail was lowered from $250,000 to $50,000.
Paul is also under investigation for sexual assaults in Los Angeles County and has been accused of being a “serial rapist.” As a result, Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle urged the court to keep Paul in custody.
Despite the prosecution’s assertion that releasing Ruben would allow him to “use his freedom to continue his attempts to help Paul Flores thwart the prosecution in this case and continue to hid her remains,” Ruben was allowed to go home. He is required to wear an electronic monitoring device, surrender his passport, and stay within the county limits.
As of Thursday, Kristin’s family civil attorney filed a lawsuit against Ruben for emotional damages due to his role as an accessory to helping hide the 19-year-old’s body.