Kristin Smart

Paul Flores, the sole person of interest in the 25-year disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, was arrested in his Rancho Palos Verdes home Wednesday on a suspected weapons charge, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. 

Flores was arrested on the suspicion of being a felon with a firearm in his possession. He has a previous DUI conviction.

Smart was last seen walking to her South Mountain dorms with Flores on May 25, 1996, after returning from an off-campus party. The case is still ongoing and no arrests have ever been made. 

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s office served two search warrants in Flores’ home in February and April of last year in relation to the Kristin Smart case. No details were released on what they were looking for, but the recent arrest is based on information obtained during those searches. 

As of Feb. 11, Flores is in custody and has a bail set at $35,000 and a court date is expected to be released soon, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. 

While Flores has never been arrested in connection to Smart’s disappearance, the Smart family has sued him in civil court, but Flores invoked his fifth amendment, the right to not self-incriminate, as a defense.

Smart was declared legally dead in 2002, but her body has not been found. Excavations of Flores’ mom, Susan Flores’, backyard and the Cal Poly hillside have occurred, yet nothing declarative has ever been found. 

In the past decade, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department have collected more than 100 new items of evidence, served 18 new search warrants, and conducted 90 interviews, leaving the case active. 

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