Kristin Smart

Dave Minsky | Santa Maria Times

The preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores began the sixth week of proceedings today, Sept. 7.

The prosecution took two witnesses out of order today since the witnesses are coming from out-of-town. The cross-examination of Shelby Liddell, a San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s forensic specialist, is expected to continue later in proceedings

Lauren Walike

If you’re living on the Central Coast, Kristin Smart is a name you may have heard quite frequently in the past few months.

Smart was a Cal Poly student who disappeared during her freshman year in May 1996.

Now 25 years later, Paul Flores — one of the last people to be seen with her — is being charged with murder for killing Smart.

Flores’ former dorm room in Santa Lucia Hall is the place investigators allege Smart may have been killed.

Many students have lived in Paul Flores’ former dorm room in Santa Lucia Hall after Smart’s disappearance.

Dave Minsky | Santa Maria Times

On the 13th day of the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores, presiding Judge Craig van Rooyen heard the defense’s motion to disqualify the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office as well as Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle from prosecuting the case.

The judge denied the defense’s motion to disqualify the DA’s Office and Peuvrelle.

Dave Minsky | Santa Maria Times

Retired San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Detective Henry Stewart testified this morning on the 12th day of the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores.

POOL PHOTO BY DAVE MINSKY | SANTA MARIA TIMES

Aug. 20 was the 11th day of the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores who are being charged in relation to Cal Poly student Kristin Smart’s disappearance on May 25, 1996. Paul Flores is being charged with murder and is accused of killing Smart during an attempted or completed rape. Ruben Flores, Paul Flores’ father, is being charged with accessory after the fact.

POOL PHOTO BY DAVID MIDDLECAMP | THE TRIBUNE

After an extended chambers conference – where the defense and prosecution have a discussion in the judge’s chambers – this morning, the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores in the Kristin Smart case is set to continue Friday, Aug. 20 with the judge hearing various motions and possible witness testimony.

Pool photo by Dave Minsky | Santa Maria Times

More than a dozen people have testified so far in the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores relating to the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.

Pool photo by David Middlecamp | The Tribune

Aug. 11 was the seventh day of Paul and Ruben Flores’ preliminary hearing in the Kristin Smart case.

Pool photo by Dave Minsky | Santa Maria Times

On the sixth day of the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores, the morning session began with Robert Sanger, representing Paul Flores, continuing to question Det. Clint Cole about unfollowed leads.

Pool photo by David Middlecamp | The Tribune

As the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores continued into the second week, Det. Clint Cole from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department remained on the stand to continue cross examination by Robert Sanger, representing Paul Flores, and Harold Mesick, representing Ruben Flores.

Pool photo by Dave Minsky | Santa Maria Times

On the fourth day of the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores, the morning started with retired Cal Poly Police Det. Lawrence Kennedy still on the stand.

Lauren Walike

During a pre-preliminary hearing for the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly freshman Kristin Smart on June 21, Judge Craig van Rooyen confirmed a 12-day preliminary hearing will start next month.

However, Judge van Rooyen said this hearing will be different from proceedings up to this point because it will not be live-streamed and there will be limited media coverage.

Denise Smart

Kristin Smart, the Cal Poly freshman whose case has drawn national attention, disappeared 25 years ago on May 25, 1996. Now, her family is honoring the anniversary of her disappearance and is celebrating her memory with a 60-day push to raise money for the Kristin Smart scholarship.

Courtesy of Tessa Witkofsky

May 25 marks the 25th anniversary of former Cal Poly Student Kristin Smart’s disappearance and, with the recent developments in her case, community members are looking for a way to honor Smart.

A walk for Kristin Smart is being held to commemorate the anniversary of her death and follows the route Smart is believed to have taken before her disappearance from the house she left on Crandall Way all the way back to her dorm at Cal Poly.

Lauren Walike

Paul and Ruben Flores appeared over Zoom in San Luis Obispo Superior court May 17 to confirm future hearing dates in the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly freshman Kristin Smart.

Judge Craig van Rooyen said a pre-preliminary hearing for both men will take place June 21st and a preliminary hearing will be on July 6.

Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle, who is leading the prosecution, says the July 6 preliminary hearing will take 12 full days.

Issues & Ideas: A walk for Kristin Smart, living downtown, and the Cal Poly Cat Program

May 17, 2021
photo courtesy of the Cal Poly Cat program

On this edition of Issues & Ideas, you’ll hear more about the three lawsuits the non-profit Friends of Oceano Dunes has filed against the California Coastal Commission, following the landmark decision to phase out off-highway vehicular use at Oceano Dunes. There is a Walk for Kristin Smart being organized to commemorate the anniversary of her death in May, 1996; we’ll check in with some students who plan to attend.

Rachel Showalter / via Zoom

Paul and Ruben Flores appeared remotely in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on April 15. They both face charges in connection with the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.

Rachel Showalter

In a press briefing April 14, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow announced formal first-degree murder charges against Paul Flores in connection with the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.

Rachel Showalter

In a press briefing Tuesday, April 13, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson announced Paul Flores has been arrested for the murder of Kristin Smart, a former Cal Poly student who disappeared nearly 25 years ago.

Paul Flores’ father, Ruben Flores, has been arrested as an accessory to her murder.

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.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office

Law enforcement officials say they have solved a pair of 41-year-old San Luis Obispo County cold cases by identifying a suspect in two Atascadero murders with the assistance of DNA evidence. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday they consider the now-deceased Arthur Rudy Martinez as the killer of 30-year-old Jane Morton Antunez and 28-year-old Patricia Dwyer in the late 1970s.

Courtesy of Denise Smart

Thursday marked the twenty-first anniversary of the disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart. Smart, who was a freshman at the time, went missing after walking home from an off-campus party in 1996. She was legally declared dead in 2002. 

Courtesy of Denise Smart

UPDATE: September 9, 2016 at 3:53 p.m.

Items of interest found at multiple Cal Poly dig sites were being studied by investigators looking into the disappearance of missing college student Kristin Smart.