UPDATE Mar. 16:
Update 5 p.m.: As the day continued officials used ground-penetrating radar to search around the deck along with cadaver dogs, detectives will continue to remain on the property through the night and continue on Tuesday.
UPDATE 9:50 a.m.: Smart has been missing since 1996 and last seen with Paul Flores around the Cal Poly area in San Luis Obispo.
Since then, Paul Flores has been a person of interest but the case has remained unsolved for the last 24 years. In February 2020 four search warrants were issued by the Sheriff and FBI. The locations were for Paul Flores home in San Pedro, along two in San Luis Obispo County which included his mothers home on Branch Street and his sisters home in Washington State.
All search warrants have been sealed with no further information released to the public.
UPDATE 9:42 a.m.: One of the cadaver dogs is currently searching the backside of the Flores home, it was seen to search under the back deck. The Flores home is known to have an avocado trees which has been mentioned in past interviews.
Sheriff named Paul Flores as the Prime Suspect today which has not been the term used in the past when describing his involvement. No further information was released at this time as to why.
Paul Flores was the last person seen with Kristin Smart.
UPDATE 9:30 a.m: According to official reports, a VW Volkswagen Rabbit last registered in 2010 was towed from the Flores garage and escorted out by the Sheriff.
This came as a result of the cadaver dogs alerting to the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Currently, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is getting set up to use on the property.
UPDATE: Kristin Smart, family spokesperson, released the following statement via email at 8:33 a.m.
Given that this is an extremely emotional day for the family, the Smart family will not be conducting any interviews and will not be meeting with any reporters today or in the foreseeable future.
Please respect their desire for privacy and do not call or go to their home.
Statement from the Family of Kristin Smart
“We are encouraged by the news of today’s search of Ruben Flores’ property. We appreciate the vigilance and professionalism of Sheriff Ian Parkinson and his department, and our family looks forward to learning more in the hours and days ahead.”
SAN LUIS OBISPO — The San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office announced this morning that it has served a search warrant at the Arroyo Grande home of Ruben Flores.
Flores is the father of Paul Flores, who remains the prime suspect in the disappearance of Kristin Smart in 1996.
The Sheriff’s Office has been authorized to utilize cadaver dogs and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) during the course of the search. This process could potentially take one to two days to complete.
Traffic in the area may be impacted with vehicle access for non-residents restricted. The search warrant has been sealed. As a result, the Sheriff is precluded by law from disclosing any further details regarding it.
This is an active and on-going investigation. The Sheriff’s Office will not be commenting any further, and no additional information will be released at this time.