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2 men arrested in 1996 cold case of college student Kristin Smart

Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong, center, speaks during a press conference Tuesday, April 13, 2021, San Luis Obispo, Calif. At left is a photo of Kristin Smart. Smart, 19, of Stockton, California, vanished in May 1996 while returning to a dorm at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, after a party. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson stands in the background and interpreter Robin Babb is at right. (David Middlecamp/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP)

Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong, center, speaks during a press conference Tuesday, April 13, 2021, San Luis Obispo, Calif. At left is a photo of Kristin Smart. Smart, 19, of Stockton, California, vanished in May 1996 while returning to a dorm at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, after a party. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson stands in the background and interpreter Robin Babb is at right. (David Middlecamp/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP)

Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong, center, spoke during a press conference Tuesday, April 13, 2021, San Luis Obispo, Calif. At left is a photo of Kristin Smart. Smart, 19, of Stockton, California, vanished in May 1996 while returning to a dorm at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, after a party. (David Middlecamp/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo) via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 5:10 PM PT – Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Two men in California are being charged in the decades-long cold case of 19-year-old Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo college freshman Kristin Smart.

On Tuesday, SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson announced longtime suspect Paul Flores was arrested on murder charges. Paul’s father Ruben was also arrested on charges of accessory to murder.

However, the sheriff said authorities have not yet found Smart’s remains.

Smart was reported missing May 1996, after allegedly walking home from a college party. Investigators suspect Paul Flores walked her home that night and was the last person to see her alive.

FILE - This undated photo released by the FBI shows Kristin Smart, the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo student who disappeared in 1996. The San Luis Obispo County sheriff plans a major announcement Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in the nearly 25-year mystery of the disappearance of Smart. (FBI via AP, File)

FILE – This undated photo released by the FBI shows Kristin Smart, the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo student who disappeared in 1996. (FBI via AP, File)

 

“It’s my hope that we’re able to take the first step toward justice for the Smart family,” Parkinson stated. “Peace for the community, some justice out there for all of us, and most especially for Kristin.”

Parkinson said the developments came after more than 10 years of aggressive investigation, with deputies serving 41 search warrants at 16 locations.

In the meantime, the SLO County District Attorney’s Office is spearheading the investigation. Paul is expected to appear in court for his arraignment on Thursday, and is currently being held without bond.

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