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Lead investigator on Kristin Smart case to retire

Clint Cole.jpg
Posted at 4:49 PM, Feb 07, 2023

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Detective Clint Cole is retiring.

Cole has worked for the Sheriff's Office for 32 years. He started as a correctional officer in 1990. Throughout the years, he has also served as a patrol deputy, school resource deputy, sexual assault investigator, and senior deputy. In 2017, he was the first investigator assigned to the newly-created position of Cold Case/Unsolved Homicide Detective. In 2019, he became the lead investigator on the Kristin Smart case.

“I am extremely proud of the work Clint has done for this agency, especially with regard to the Kristin Smart investigation,” said Sheriff Ian Parkinson. “He has accomplished much in his 32-year career, and his retirement is well deserved.”

“It is very satisfying to see Paul Flores convicted for the murder of Kristin Smart,” said Detective Cole. “I hope I’ve been able to give the Smart family some measure of justice for Kristin.”

Cole's last day will be March 10, which also happens to be the day Flores is scheduled to be sentenced for Smart's murder.