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Investigators wrap up search of Flores home after serving warrants in Kristin Smart case

flores search day 2.jpg
Posted at 10:46 AM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 01:08:45-04

UPDATE (1:56 p.m.) - The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office has concluded its search of Ruben Flores's home and investigators have left the neighborhood.

Sheriff's officials say they will not comment on whether any evidence was found, nor do they plan on releasing additional information about the search at this time.
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(10:46 a.m.) - San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's investigators continued to search the Arroyo Grande home of Ruben Flores on Tuesday.

Flores is the father of Paul Flores, the sheriff's prime suspect in the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart.

A blue tent could be seen set up near the home's back deck Tuesday morning, a section of lattice below the deck had been removed, and investigators with shovels could be seen removing orange buckets from the area.

On Monday, ground-penetrating radar was used to search around the deck.

Sheriff's officials served a search warrant at the home, located in the 700 block of White Court, at about 7:30 a.m. Monday morning.

Also during Monday's search, a 1985 Volkswagen Cabriolet was hauled away after being searched by cadaver dogs. The vehicle is registered to Paul's parents, Ruben and Susan, according to the DMV.

The two have lived in separate homes in the Arroyo Grande area for decades.

Susan, Ruben and Susan's boyfriend could all be seen driving by the search area throughout the day on Monday, and Ruben and Susan were seen driving by again Tuesday morning.

Kristin Smart was last seen on May 25, 1996, after returning to campus from a fraternity party in San Luis Obispo.

Witnesses said Paul Flores was the last person to be seen with her.

Last month, he was arrested in Los Angeles County on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Sheriff's officials said that arrest came as a result of information obtained during searches of his San Pedro home in February and April of 2020, when investigators were reportedly looking for items of interest in the Smart case.

The February 2020 investigation also included searches at the two Arroyo Grande homes of Flores's parents and his sister's home in Washington state.

Sheriff's officials say the current search could take a couple of days to complete and traffic in the area may be impacted.

Officials say the search warrant is sealed and no other information on the "active and ongoing investigation" will be released at this time.

Unlike the searches in 2020, FBI agents were not on scene during the latest search.