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Paul Flores ‘hunted’ Kristin Smart and ‘lurked around her dorm’

Paul Flores ‘hunted’ Kristin Smart and ‘lurked around her dorm’ for months before ‘murdering her after spending all night hitting on her at a 1996 college party’, unsealed court documents reveal

  • Paul Flores is charged with raping and murdering Kristin Smart in 1996 
  • He has pleaded not guilty and his trial will begin later this year
  • A pre-trial hearing that will last 12 days will begin on August 2
  • Both he and Kristin were freshmen at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo
  • Kristin vanished on May 24, 1996, after being walked home by Flores from an off-campus party
  • Some 30 women have told police he was creepy and predatory towards women
  • The case went unsolved until earlier this year when a Spotify podcast drummed up renewed public interest
  • Flores and his father Ruben were arrested and are now awaiting trial
  • Newly unsealed documents say Flores had been lurking around Kristin’s dorm – which was 0.2 miles from his – for months
  • The night she vanished he was ‘hyperactive’ and boasted about his drug use  

Kristin Smart’s alleged killer Paul Flores hunted her and lurked around her dorm months before her murder, newly unsealed court documents have claimed. 

Flores, now 44, was 19 when Kristin, then also 19, vanished from her dorm at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1996. 

He was the last person to have been seen with her and walked her home after hitting on her all night and behaving ‘hyperactively’ at a party they’d both attended off-campus. 

He was staying in Santa Maria Hall and she was in Muir Hall, which are 0.2miles apart – a four minute walk.

At the party, Kristin’s friends said Paul bragged to her ‘about how great he was and the drugs he used,’ according to a newly unsealed statement of facts that prosecutors submitted to the court on July 9 but that were unsealed on Wednesday.

Kristin’s friends told detectives Paul had been ‘lurking’ around her dorm and seemed to be ‘hunting her’ in the weeks before she vanished. 

It’s unclear if her friends told cops that he’d been following her back in 1996, when she first vanished, or if they made the claim more recently. 

The documents were obtained by The San Luis Obispo Tribune.

Flores, now 44, was 19 when Kristin, also 19, vanished from her dorm at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1996.

Flores, now 44, was 19 when Kristin, also 19, vanished from her dorm at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1996.

Paul Flores is shown in an unrelated arrest photo from 1996, when he was 19.

Paul Flores is shown in an unrelated arrest photo from 1996, when he was 19. 

The case was unsolved for 25 years until a popular Spotify podcast earlier this year prompted detectives to revive their investigation and arrest Flores and his father Ruben. Kristin’s body has still never been found. 

Others describe how police found videos that showed Flores raping a drunk woman when they searched his family home earlier this year. 

Police also found a pornographic film titled ‘Real Drunken Girls Drugged and Raped While Passed Out.’ According to the prosecutor, the videos were stored in a computer file labeled ‘Practice.’

The search further yielded ‘fetishized rape fantasy porn’ and prescription drug medications that could be used as date rape drugs, especially when taken with alcohol.

Prosecutors think that he killed Kristin either at the dorms or nearby, then brought her body to his family home and buried her in the yard. 

They believe that he may have moved the body earlier this year, before he was arrested, as interest in the case started to increase, thanks to the Spotify podcast Your Own Backyard. 

He pleaded not guilty to murder in April and is due to stand trial later this year. A 12-day preliminary hearing will begin on August 2.

Police believe Flores killed Kristin then put her body underneath his father Ruben's deck. They think the pair moved it earlier this year shortly before they were arrested, as public interest in the case increased

Police believe Flores killed Kristin then put her body underneath his father Ruben’s deck. They think the pair moved it earlier this year shortly before they were arrested, as public interest in the case increased

Twenty-nine women have testified to police and prosecutors already about his predatory behavior.

Ruben Flores, 80, is charged with accessory after the fact

Paul’s father Ruben Flores, 80, is charged with accessory after the fact

There are now questions and criticism of how detectives overlooked Paul in their initial investigations in the 1990s.

Additional records also revealed that a March 2021 search of Ruben Flores’ home in Arroyo Grande showed ‘significant soil disturbance’ and turned up samples that tested positive for human blood, although an expert has not ruled out that it could be ferret or primate blood.

A former tenant of Flores’ told investigators that Ruben kept the area under the deck where the evidence was found padlocked and would not let anyone access it, not even a plumber who came to repair a leak.

David Stone, who rented a room from Flores for a decade, before moving out last year, said that the enclosed space ‘would be the perfect place to dispose of something where nobody would see you…’

Stone also claimed that his landlord would refer to Smart as a ‘dirty slut.’

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