Kristin Smart Was Killed During Attempted Rape, Prosecutor Says

Asked on Wednesday if he knew where Ms. Smart was killed, Mr. Dow said that “the last place where Kristin was seen was close to the dorms and near Mr. Flores’s dorm.” He added, “We certainly believe that Mr. Flores’s dorm room was a crime scene.”

Ms. Smart’s family had her declared legally dead in 2002. Her remains have never been found.

In March, the Sheriff’s Office said it had obtained a warrant to search for evidence at Ruben Flores’s residence, and they used cadaver dogs and ground-penetrating radar to canvass the property. Additional evidence related to Ms. Smart’s case was discovered at the site, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The authorities had previously searched the homes of both Ruben Flores and Paul Flores. In February 2020, investigators executed search warrants at four locations in California and Washington State and recovered “some items of interest,” Tony Cipolla, a spokesman for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, said at the time.

Sheriff Parkinson said on Tuesday that the search warrants were sealed and that he could not discuss what evidence had been found. On Wednesday, Mr. Dow declined to elaborate on what the new evidence was.

“What I can tell you,” he said, “is that significant new information has come in to the Sheriff’s Office that we’ve reviewed over the last two years, and some very important information just a month ago. We’ve got physical evidence, we have witness statements — things that, in our view, in the totality, have brought us to the point where we believe we can go forward and prosecute Mr. Flores for the murder of Kristin Smart.”

Robert Sanger, a lawyer for Paul Flores, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Asked about the charges on Wednesday, Harold Mesick, a lawyer for Ruben Flores, said, “I don’t believe there is any evidence, any objective physical evidence that my client has committed any crime, and I certainly don’t believe he has sufficient evidence to convict my client of any crime, primarily because my client has not committed any crime.”

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