He wouldn't answer a single thing. Ms. Smart, 19, was a freshman at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo when she disappeared in 1996. The body of Kristin Smart, which has never been found, was recently moved from the home of Ruben Flores, a prosecutor said, according to a document filed Monday and posted on social media by a. The authorities removed items from Paul Floress home in Los Angeles in February 2020. Investigators in Kristin Smart case serve search warrant at the home of the prime suspect's father Smart was last seen near her California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) dorm, but she. She spent a summer in London, was an exchange student in Venezuela, and a lifeguard at a camp in Hawaii. Kristen Modafferi, Kristin Smart & Kent Jacobs. He was not welcome.. James Murphy: And it's 2:30 and 3 o'clock in the morning at Cal Poly this is not a a location from which Paul alone could easily move a body without a vehicle. Through the years, the Smarts have kept pressure on the Flores family. Even more difficult to understand was why they waited two months to search the family home where Paul Flores was living with his father, Ruben. Also taking the witness stand on Wednesday was Edward Chadwell. Jonathan Vigliotti: They thought she was off possibly having fun. Margarita Campos: But when we got to the house it was pretty dead too, it was really -- it was like a couple of roommates hanging out playing video games And Kristin was, like oh gosh, there has to be something better than this. In March, the Oakland Police Department released a statement saying that it had worked with the FBI and found no evidence indicating Durst was involved. Authorities made clear that they plan to use Flores' alleged predatory behavior against him. It was first reported by The Tribune, and a reporter posted snippets of documents on Twitter. Mary Lassiter says the earring she found in the driveway matched the necklace Kristin Smart is seen wearing on this billboard. The two are charged in connection with the death of Cal Poly freshman Kristin Smart. That's been our goal. DAN DOW [press conference]: We have evidence that we do believe there are other people that are not yet identified that have had some kind of a criminal act perpetrated on them by Mr. Flores. Why? A California jury has found Paul Flores, the man accused of the 1996 murder of Kristin Smart, guilty of first-degree murder, according to a news release from the San Luis Obispo County District. (Pool photo by Dave Minsky/Santa Maria Times). The investigation seemed to be hampered from the start by a series of missteps by campus police beginning with their assumption that Kristin was off having fun and ignoring worried friends who said she was missing. Paul Flores talks to his attorneys Sara Sanger and Robert Sanger on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021 in San Luis Obispo, Calif. had been arrested in connection with her disappearance, Paul Flores was found guilty of murdering Ms. Smart, while in the commission of, or attempted, rape. But while campus police weren't doing much, Kristin's parents were doing whatever they could to find their daughter. Four months after that futile search, Paul Flores was brought before a grand jury. Anyone would have been terrified if they heard it.. Since Parkinson came on the scene, investigators have dug up hillsides; searched the homes and properties of all the Flores'; collected evidence; seized Paul Flores' computers; monitored his cell phone and text messages, and found new witnesses -- some with the help of Chris Lambert. The authorities began to describe Paul Flores as a prime suspect in the case. Sheriff Ian Parkinson was able to confirm that forensic physical evidence that authorities believe is linked to Kristin was located at, at least two homes. RUBEN FLORES: [long pause] We never asked that question. Margarita Campos: I mean, she was gone. And they told Lambert they weren't surprised when they heard about Flores's connection to Kristin's disappearance. For more than two decades, her family, friends, and supporters searched for answers and for justice. Chris Lambert: There was a man climbing her trellis and trying to get inside her balcony, very intoxicated and refusing to leave. After apparently becoming intoxicated, Smart headed back to her dorm with fellow partiers Tim Davis and Cheryl Anderson. Don Kelsen/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images. Lindsey Smart Stewart: She definitely, like, took advantage of life, seized the day she was super ambitious and was determined you know, to find the next adventure. On April 13, 2021, almost 25 years after Kristin Smart went missing, longtime suspect Paul Flores, 44, was arrested at his home in San Pedro, California, and charged with murder. 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But Lindsey says her sister was happiest when she was traveling. But Margarita says, the police did not seem concerned. James Murphy: Somebody found an earring that they say was Kristin Smart's jewelry in the driveway. Det. "Should he be allowed bail, it is a virtual certainty that he would use his freedom to continue his attempts to help Paul Flores thwart prosecution in this case and continue to hide her remains.. Chris Lambert: Kristin became incredibly intoxicated, whether she was drugged or whether she just had a lot to drink in a short amount of time She ends up passed out on the lawn next door. Cole said that Ruben then clarified that he meant he was the only one of the three to have been arrested. JAMES MURPHY: Has your son ever told you that he did not kill Kristin Smart? They also did not focus on Paul Flores immediately, waiting six days to formally interview him. But I've seen it. According to a county probation bail report obtained by the San Luis Obispo Tribune, "biological evidence" was found under Ruben's deck. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office, via Associated Press. Cole also testified that the Flores family was wiretapped for 30 days starting on January 5, 2020. It was turned over to a detective with the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office, but Garin Sinclair says, the Smarts never knew it existed until the Lassiters were deposed in January 1997. Previously sealed documents related to the case become available to the public that explain the rape charges Peurelle attempted to add against Paul Flores. The Tribune said it got the public documents from the courthouse in the city 160 miles northwest of Los Angeles. That mother, Mary Lassiter, described it to Chris Lambert. Denise Smart, Kristins mother, has also praised the show. Jonathan Vigliotti: How did you know she hadn't been back? Kristin Smart was a 19-year-old freshman at Cal Poly, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, when she disappeared after a walk home from an off-campus party early in the. most importantly they wanna find their daughter. Paul Flores was charged with murder and Ruben Flores with being an accessory after the fact, accused of helping to bury her remains. It's, like, she has nothing on her. Flores claimed after walking Kristin back from the party, he went to his room in Santa Lucia Hall while she walked alone to her dorm. And the complaint has some explosive claims about what led investigators to focus under Ruben's deck in the first place. Flores wasn't talking. The Sheriffs Office investigators and forensic specialists assigned to Ms. Smarts case executed 18 search warrants, submitted 37 items that were collected in the early days of the case for DNA testing, recovered 140 new items of evidence and conducted 91 interviews from 2011 to 2020, the office said. Ian Parkinson: I committed to them that I was going to go back to the beginning and re-examine every piece of evidence that we had. SHERIFF IAN PARKINSON [to reporters]: It's been a puzzle and it's a very slow process to find each of those little pieces some of that information came to light through the podcast many of you are familiar with. And my roommate actually kicked down the door to make him stop. Oct. 18, 2022 In the spring of 1996, Kristin Smart, a 19-year-old college student, left an off-campus party in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and walked home to her dormitory. The two men made their first courtroom appearance on July 14 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, where Judge Craig B. van Rooyen denied the district attorneys motion to add two rape charges against Paul Flores, The Tribune of San Luis Obispo reported. A jury acquitted Ruben Flores of the charge of being an accessory after the fact. In the months after Kristin's disappearance, one truck was traded in and the other was reported stolen. Additionally, the documents include information about a March 15th, 2021 search by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriffs Office of Ruben Flores Arroyo Grande property that included ground-penetrating radar. LOS ANGELES A California college student missing for nearly 25 years was once buried in the backyard of the home owned by the murder suspect's father, authorities said in a court document. The police searched her dorm room in Muir Hall, finding her wallet and reminders to turn in assignments. Mesick declined to comment Tuesday, citing the gag order. She adds that Flores said he put Smart under a skateboard ramp in Arroyo Grande. But 22 years later, when he couldn't find any recent stories about the case, he decided to do something. Back in May 1996, Kristin Smart was finishing her freshman year at California Polytechnic State University better known as Cal Poly. Jonathan Vigliotti: She had just 40 yards to go and yet she vanished. The Smart family filed a $40 million wrongful death lawsuit against Paul Flores in 1997, but he was not immediately charged criminally in the case. His is the latest in a line of true-crime podcasts to play a role in an arrest, a court appeal or even an exoneration. She didn't think that was OK. But Mary Lassiter says the earring matched the necklace Kristin is seen wearing on the billboard. Just very involved with their children. Cole said investigators checked out the skateboard ramp location but did not find a body. The then eighteen-year-old . In addition, the documents include a phone tap from January 2020 in which Pauls mother, Susan, tells her son: The other thing I need you to do is to start listening to the podcast. UPDATE - San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Detective Clint Cole returned to the witness stand Wednesday in the preliminary hearing for Paul and Ruben Flores, testifying that searches of Ruben's home turned up evidence leading them to believe human remains had been buried there. I'm going to go back to the dorms. James Murphy: And it says wrongful death and then I put murder. Chris Lambert was just 8 years old when Kristin Smart vanished on her way home from a college party in San Luis Obispo, California. Ruben Flores, was arrested at his home on the same day and was charged with being an accessory after the fact. He never expected it would be a hit, but his podcast caught the attention of millions of listeners and sparked new interest in this decades-old unsolved case. And then months and months later, they'd reach back out and say, can you get us in touch with this person again? The search for Ms. Smart, who was nicknamed Roxy, took many forms. Clockwise from left, Kristin, Denise, Stan, Matt and Lindsey. PAUL FLORES: On the advice of my attorney, I refuse to answer that question based on the fifth amendment of the United States Constitution. That young woman was Kristin Smart, and she hasn't been seen since. Paul Flores did not have a car on campus, so Murphy surmises he had to have had help. And there are more horrifying allegations about what may have happened to Kristin after she was last seen with Paul Flores. All Rights reserved. That warrant allowed them to dig up the backyard, but deputies chose not to excavate. putting murder on the lawsuit was sending a message to Paul Flores and his family, that we believe that he killed Kristin and that we're coming for him. He has not been charged in those incidents. His father was found not guilty of helping to hide her body. Ms. Smarts acquaintances were interviewed. But further investigation of the Flores's two trucks seemed impossible. Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen rules that having the podcaster testify and release his records would have a chilling effect on the medias ability to do their job. And for the first time clues about what may have happened to Kristin Smart. Im not going to exclude a member of the media (for doing their job).. to California to search for Kristen Modafferi. He said a backhoe had excavated a trench to dump soil that was removed to lay a nearby foundation. In October 2022,. For the next 25 years, I did whatever I could and looked for answers wherever I could, Denise Smart told the court, according to CBS 13, a local television station. A hundred percent that was happening. Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting. Other men cited by the defense either reportedly dated or pursued Smart. Like so many freshmen, Kristin struggled. On June 23, 1997, Kristen left the coffee shop where she worked, Spinelli's Coffee in San Francisco's Crocker Galleria. That witness initially came forward to Chris Lambert, who passed the information to the sheriff's office and Murphy. Paul Flores and defense attorney Robert Sanger in court on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. Smart appeared to be under the influence of alcohol on Friday night. What's going on? By the time they inspected Flores's room, Kristin had been gone for 16 days. Denise Pearce says that was a crushing blow for the Smart family. They were after Paul Flores for an outstanding DUI warrant. Kristen Deborah Modafferi (born June 1, 1979; disappeared June 23, 1997) is an American woman who, at the age of 18, in the early summer of 1997, disappeared in mysterious circumstances after leaving her work at the Crocker Galleria Mall in San Francisco, California. Lindsey Smart Stewart: "You should go to Cal Poly. Like the Smart's civil case, theirs also has been on hold. Nic Coury / AP. She was gone. Copyright 2023 Penske Business Media, LLC. He discussed some of the evidence that was collected during searches of the property, including anomalies in the backyard and a 4-foot deep hole under the deck containing fibers and human blood. A single woman's earring. She was pushing herself out of her comfort zone. But you have to understand, she was a really independent free spirit. But a massive search did not happen until she'd been gone for more than a month. Kristen Modafferi. Ruben will be released on bail that he can afford. Today, we make the first move toward bringing justice to Kristin, her family, and the people of San Luis Obispo County.. She feared for her life, so did not tell anyone at the time or for years after. Witness Jennifer Hudson takes the stand, where she tells the court that, in 1996, when she was 17 years old, Flores laughingly told her he had taken care of Smart. JAMES MURPHY: In May of 96 were you a student at Cal Poly? School was over, so campus police found an empty room that had been sanitized by the university's cleaning crew. In February 2020, the authorities executed search warrants at four locations in California and Washington State and recovered what the San Luis Obispo County Sheriffs Office described as items of interest. One location was the Los Angeles home of Paul Flores, KCAL-TV reported. Denise Pearce: To be almost there. Missing-person posters and billboards offering rewards appeared along roads and in other public places. As they soon learned, she had ended up at a party at an off-campus house. DAN DOW [press conference]: We don't have evidence sufficient to charge anyone else at this time. Sources tell us investigators discovered videos and photographs on Flores' computer showing him engaged in sexual activity with at least 10 different women, apparently in various states of consciousness. The day after my sister disappeared, Paul Flores had a black eye and scratches on him. Murphy and his wife, Garin Sinclair, agreed to take the case pro bono promising to go after Paul Flores and put pressure on the sheriff's office. 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. And that's what I've been doing for a long, long time, along with a lot of other people. Cole testified that Hudson told him about Paul's statement and that she'd also seen Paul with his white pickup truck at the skateboard ramp in Huasna. He said a chemical called Bluestar, which detects bodily fluids, was used on the trailer and that there was a reaction on the right side of the trailer showing a stain that could be similar to a human being lying on its side. James Murphy and Garin Sinclair look at the billboard that has been in their front yard for more than two decades. No remains have been found. Paul Flores, lower left, remained in jail without bail while Ruben Flores, upper right, was able to post bail after a judge agreed to lower the bail amount from $250,000 to $50,000, San Luis Obispo County Superior Court/Zoom, How a tragic boating crash is connected to the family of Alex Murdaugh, Five deaths with a connection to Alex Murdaugh's family investigated, Chilling details revealed in JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan deaths, Mother at center of international manhunt speaks out to "48 Hours". We just, "do you know anything about it". Case Jonathan Vigliotti: Is there any doubt in your mind that Paul Flores is responsible for the disappearance of Kristin Smart? JAMES MURPHY: What is the name of your father? Just weeks later, Kristin's frustrated parents contacted James Murphy, a local civil attorney. He later argued that the biological evidence found under the deck was not conclusively human blood. She left them only after he promised to take Kristin back to her dorm. He has denied any involvement. Back in San Luis Obispo, the Smarts, feeling ignored by the sheriff's office, continued a relentless campaign to get them to do more to find their daughter. Four months later, while attempting to reconcile, Susan rented out her house in Arroyo Grande. PODCAST EPISODE 5: If you were making a film about a new law enforcer who's coming to a small town to save the day, you'd probably cast Parkinson. The court document was filed before bail arguments Monday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court when the father and son were arraigned. Chris Lambert: A young couple moves into it with their kid. Bei der Nutzung unserer Websites und Apps verwenden wir, unsere Websites und Apps fr Sie bereitzustellen, Nutzer zu authentifizieren, Sicherheitsmanahmen anzuwenden und Spam und Missbrauch zu verhindern, und, Ihre Nutzung unserer Websites und Apps zu messen, personalisierte Werbung und Inhalte auf der Grundlage von Interessenprofilen anzuzeigen, die Effektivitt von personalisierten Anzeigen und Inhalten zu messen, sowie, unsere Produkte und Dienstleistungen zu entwickeln und zu verbessern. James Murphy: Well, the location where all this activity occurred is where they found the biological material. But as Chris Lambert learned, Flores's pattern of behavior with women didn't stop. To declare to the public if you stay quiet, you will get away with this. JAMES MURPHY: What is your present residence address? Podcaster Lambert will not be called to the stand during the Kristin Smart murder hearing. But on April 13, 2021, after an investigation that spanned nearly a quarter of a century, the authorities announced that two California men Paul Flores, now 45, and his father, Ruben Flores, 81 had been arrested in connection with her disappearance. By the time Cal Poly police began investigating, Kristin had been gone for four days. Van Rooyen saying that his release could result in great bodily harm to the public. Cole also talked about his interview with Jennifer Hudson in November 2019. "YOUR OWN BACKYARD" PODCAST: EPISODE 1: It's a cold and cloudy winter afternoon in San Luis Obispo and I'm retracing missing Cal Poly student Kristin Smart's last known steps. It's just a motivator for me. SUSAN FLORES: [Long pause, grabs water bottle] Of course not. They went on trial in July 2022 in Monterey County, Calif. On Oct. 18, 2022, Paul Flores was found guilty of murdering Ms. Smart. The next month, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriffs Office took over from the Cal Poly police as the lead investigators. Maybe we cant. In June 1997, 18-year-old Kristen Modafferi arrived in San Francisco to take a photography class at UC Berkeley. Other witnesses included students who were at the party. But the Flores's have fought back, suing the Smarts for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Cole said a search of it revealed "suspicious activity.". suddenly major pieces of evidence came forward. Soon after her disappearance, a sheriffs search party combed remote parts of the Cal Poly campus on horseback, archival video from KCRA-TV shows. every piece of evidence points directly at Paul Flores. to find the next challenge. Murphy has filed a new civil suit against Ruben Flores for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Nineteen-year-old Kristin Smart disappeared Memorial Day weekend of 1996. These charges mark a major milestone, Dow says in a statement. But was there evidence possibly placing Kristin Smart at his mother's home? DAN DOW [press conference]: It is alleged that Mr. Flores caused the death of Kristen Smart while in the commission of or attempted rape. In 2011, the Smarts hoped those boulders would become a little lighter when Ian Parkinson became the . The 19-year-old, who is also from Charlotte and a . Nineteen-year-old Cal Poly student Kristin Smart went missing after a campus party 25 years ago, and, this summer, her case is finally getting its day in court. In one of Paul's police interviews he mentioned that he wanted to be let out of the interview because he needed to help clean up concrete at his mom's house So, what was being done in Susan Flores's backyard in the weeks after Kristin went missing? Meanwhile, the hearing is scheduled to conclude on Friday, when the judge will rule if prosecutors have probable cause to go to trial. Plans & Pricing ; Podcast Statistics; PowerPress Plugin . But Parkinson acknowledges it hasn't been easy.