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Four search warrants served at multiple locations in Kristin Smart case

Posted at 7:42 AM, Feb 05, 2020

Law enforcement served search warrants Wednesday in the missing person case of Kristin Smart.

Smart was last seen returning to the Cal Poly campus, where she was a freshman, after attending a party in San Luis Obispo one night in May 1996.

While her body has never been found, Kristin was declared legally dead in 2002.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday the new warrants included a search for specific items of evidence at four separate locations.

Two of those locations are in San Luis Obispo County, one location is in Los Angeles County and one location is in Washington State, the press release stated.

Wednesday morning, KSBY crews witnessed sheriff's deputies and FBI investigators at the Arroyo Grande home of Susan Flores, the mother of the only person-of-interest in the case, Paul Flores.

FBI investigators were seen putting up tape around the home on East Branch St.

Investigators search home of Susan Flores in Arroyo Grande

"Something is happening and I am definitely excited to see what comes from it," said Matthew Harrington, who witnessed the search.

Wednesday afternoon, news crews were outside the home when Susan Flores pulled into the driveway. She declined to comment to reporters.

A neighbor on White Court in Arroyo Grande told KSBY News the home of Ruben Flores, Paul's dad, was also searched Wednesday morning, and the King County Sheriff's Office confirmed that it assisted the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office in the service of a search warrant at a home near Kenmore, Washington. Paul's sister reportedly lives in that area.

In Southern California, investigators served a search warrant at Paul Flores' San Pedro home. Flores was home at the time and could be seen in news footage wearing a light blue hoodie.

Investigators search Paul Flores home

"The search warrants are limited in scope, and sealed by the court," public information officer Tony Cipolla stated. "As a result, we are precluded by law from disclosing any further details about them."

The press release stated the sheriff's office will not be commenting any further and no additional information will be released at this time.

It also said the office does not anticipate any additional news releases regarding this investigation.

The Smart family had no comment Wednesday.

Last week, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office announced they have two vehicles related to the investigation in evidence.

The two trucks, which sheriff's officials say belonged to family members of Paul Flores in 1996, have been a hot topic in episodes of the "Your Own Backyard" podcast, which chronicles the disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart in 1996 and the investigation that followed.

Flores was one of the last people to see Smart and has been identified as a person-of-interest in the case.

The sheriff's office also detailed the work that has been done on the case since it was made a priority for the department in 2011:

  • The service of 18 search warrants
  • Conducting physical evidence searches at nine separate locations
  • A complete re-examination of every item of physical evidence seized by all agencies involved in this case
  • Submission of 37 evidence items from the early days of the case for modern DNA testing
  • Recovery of 140 new items of evidence
  • Conducting 91 person to person interviews
  • The writing of 364 supplemental reports

Related: SLO Co. Sheriff confirms key pieces of evidence in Kristin Smart case