Twenty-Six Years After Kristin Smart Went Missing, a Man Is Going to Prison for Her Murder

In 1996 Kristin Denise Smart was 19 years old and a freshman at Cal Poly State University. At the end of her first year of college, Smart was abducted.

For years, her abduction was a mystery. Six years after she went missing, Smart was legally declared dead on May 25, 2022. 

Twenty-Six Years After Kristin Smart Went Missing, a Man Is Going to Prison for Her Murder

Police believed she was abducted, raped, and murdered. Now, her family and loved ones have the answer they’ve been looking for—who did this to Kristin Smart.

On October 18, 2022, 26 years after she was abducted and 20 years after she was declared dead, a jury unanimously found Paul Flores guilty of murdering Smart.

According to CBS News, Flores was the last known person to be seen with Smart before she went missing. Flores’ father, Ruben Flores, also stood trial for being an accessory to murder after the fact. 

However, a separate jury found Ruben not guilty of allegedly helping to conceal the crime. Both verdicts were read aloud at the same time in the same courtroom.

Prosecutors believed Paul Flores killed Smart in his dorm room at Cal Poly during an attempted rape. Flores was also a freshman at the time and was seen walking Smart home from an off-campus party where she was reportedly intoxicated.

It’s believed that Flores, with the help of his father, removed Smart’s body from his dorm room and buried her behind his home.

As CBS News reports, Paul Flores’ legal team attempted to pin Smart’s murder on Scott Peterson, the man convicted of killing his pregnant wife. Peterson was also a student at Cal Poly at the time of Smart’s disappearance.

Smart’s body has never been found.

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