Kristin Smart

Deputies Search Family Home of Ex-Classmate in 1996 Disappearance of Kristin Smart

Ground-penetrating radar and cadaver dogs are part of the search at the property in Arroyo Grande

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Cadaver dogs and ground-penetrating radar are part of a search Monday morning at a San Luis Obispo County home in connection with the 1996 disappearance of college student Kristin Smart. 

The search warrant is being served at the Arroyo Grande home of Ruben Flores, the father of Paul Flores, the sheriff’s department said in a statement. The search is expected to take about two days.

The search warrant has been sealed. More details about the search were not immediately available. 

Paul Flores was arrested in February in Rancho Palos Verdes on suspicion of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, the Los Angeles Police Department said. He was a former classmate of Smart, who disappeared in 1996, and owns a home in San Pedro that was previously searched by authorities. 

Smart, who attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, vanished while returning from a party in the Central Coast city. The 19-year-old from Stockton, California, had been seen with another student, identified as Paul Flores, but he was never arrested or charged in the case.

Interest in the disappearance has been revived at times, including when investigators conducted digs on the college campus in 2016, and most recently due to a locally produced podcast focusing on the case.

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