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SLO Sheriff's Office serves new search warrant in ongoing Kristin Smart investigation

Courtesy of SLO County Sheriff's Department

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office served a new search warrant in the ongoing Kristin Smart investigation March 15 at the Arroyo Grande home of Ruben Flores, Paul Flores’ father.

Smart, a former Cal Poly student, first disappeared from the university nearly 25 years ago after leaving a party in 1996.

Flores was reportedly the last person seen with Kristin Smart while walking her back to the residence halls after the house party.

Paul Flores is a long-time person of interest in Smart’s disappearance, but he is now being named as the prime suspect in the case.

Police are using cadaver dogs and ground-penetrating radar to search the property.

The Sheriff's Office said in a press release that this search could take one or two days to complete.

In response to the search warrant, the Smart family issued a statement saying they are encouraged by the search and are looking forward to learning more as the search develops.

In 2020, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office served several search warrants at Paul Flores’ home in Southern California, his parents’ home in Arroyo Grande, and his sister’s home in Washington State.

The FBI conducted an excavation on a Cal Poly hillside in 2016 as part of the investigation. No information is available regarding what was found on the site.

The Sheriff’s Office said this remains an active investigation and the search warrant is sealed with no additional information being released at this time.

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. After graduating, she took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team in October 2020, reporting daily for KCBX News until she moved to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2022. Rachel spends her off-days climbing rocks, cooking artichokes and fighting crosswords with friends.
Lauren Walike joined KCBX as its news manager in February 2021. In addition to her KCBX work, Lauren also serves as news director for KCPR-FM, Cal Poly’s student-run radio station, and digital director of Mustang Media Group, Cal Poly’s student-run news organization. She will graduate from Cal Poly’s Honors Program in June 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in journalism with minors in Integrated Marketing Communications and Media Arts, Society and Technology.
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