New court documents reveal that when Paul Flores was a college freshman in 1996, he allegedly raped Smart before killing her, and his father allegedly buried her body under the deck of his yard

By KC Baker
April 21, 2021 03:09 PM
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Paul Flores, Kristin Smart, Ruben Flores
Paul Flores, Kristin Smart and Ruben Flores
| Credit: San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office/AP/Shutterstock; Facebook

For nearly 25 years, authorities have searched for the body of Kristin Smart, the 19-year-old California college freshman who vanished after leaving an off-campus party at the start of Memorial Day weekend in 1996.

Now for the first time ever, authorities say they believe her body was buried in the yard of the California home of murder suspect Paul Flores' father — and that it was "recently" moved, according to a court document obtained by The Tribune of San Luis Obispo.

Kristin Smart
Kristin Smart
| Credit: Facebook

On April 13, Paul, 44, who had been considered a person of interest in the case of the missing teen for years, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the presumed death of Smart, whose body still has not been found.

Paul was the last person seen with Smart after she left an off-campus party at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, on May 24, 1996, where he was also a freshman.

On April 14, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow announced in a release that "It is alleged [Paul] caused Kristin's death while in the commission of or attempt to commit rape" in his dorm room.

Kristin Smart
Kristin Smart
| Credit: Facebook

On April 13, Paul's father, Ruben Flores, 80, was also arrested and charged with being an accessory after the murder for allegedly hiding her body in his yard on White Court in Arroyo Grande.

Dow's release alleged that Ruben "helped conceal Kristin's body after the murder was committed."

The arrests came because "significant new information has come into the sheriff's office over the last two years and some very important information just a month ago," Dow said at a press conference on April 14.

Paul and Ruben Flores have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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Paul is being held without bail in the San Luis Obispo County jail as he awaits trial, online court records show.

His father is being held on $250,000 bail, which his attorney is contesting, according to online court records.

Kristin Smart
Kristin Smart
| Credit: Facebook

In the explosive county probation report filed Monday and obtained by The Tribune, a detective at the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office said investigators "are in possession of biological evidence that makes them believe the victim was buried underneath [Ruben Flores'] deck at one time," The Tribune reports.

The detective also said, "The excavation below his deck" showed "damning evidence that a body had been buried in that location and then recently moved," the document states, according to The Tribune.

In court records filed Monday, prosecutors also alleged that "dozens of women have recounted Paul Flores' sexual assaults and predatory behavior that document his 25 years as a serial rapist," The Tribune reports.

Paul Flores has not been charged with any sex crimes.

Ruben Flores's attorney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment.

Paul Flores' attorney Robert Sanger told PEOPLE that he doesn't comment on pending cases "and there is also a protective order prohibiting comment."

Ruben's attorney Harold Mesick previously told PEOPLE. "I don't believe there is any evidence, especially objective physical evidence, that my client has committed any crime. I don't think they have sufficient evidence to prove my client has done anything wrong."