Kristin Smart was a regular university-going student when she mysteriously disappeared in 1996.  Although she was declared dead in 2002, the case has still remained open. On Tuesday, almost 25 years after the initial disappearance, a man was arrested on the basis of a murder charge in California. Sheriff Ian Parkinson disclosed the suspect’s identity as Paul Flores; who has been charged with one count of murder in relation to Smart’s unexplained disappearance.

Parkinson also declared that Flores had been arrested near San Pedro in Los Angeles and was subsequently transported to San Luis Obispo County where he was kept without bail. In addition, Florrie’s father, Ruben was also arrested along with his son on the charge of being an accomplice in the alleged murder of Kristin Smart.

Kristin Smart’s disappearance in 1996; Man charged with murder in 2021Throughout the course of years, Paul Flores has remained a person of significant interest said the Sheriff on Tuesday. He further added that as the case moved forward, suspicions related to Flores’ involvement in the disappearance of Smart kept on increasing. In fact, last year; the police did a thorough check of his house in Los Angeles County, as reported by NBC News.

Parkinson also stated that the crime podcast conducted a few years ago identified other potential suspects who were later interviewed by his team in 2019. An additional search warrant was given in March at Arroyo Grande, the place of residence for Ruben Flores. This concrete evidence helped to gather more information about the case and resultantly, a Superior Court Judge not only issued two arrest warrants, but also extra search warrants.

Kristin Smart’s disappearance in 1996After the initial arrest, Parkinson went on to declare that they have not been able to find Kristin Smart. He reiterated the promise that he had made to Kristin’s parents: We will find Kristin at any cost. After Parkinson expressed his stance on the matter, President Jeffrey Armstrong stated that he understands the grievances faced by Kristin Smart’s family and declared that the process to find the missing girl is still ongoing.