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Father Of Kristin Smart Murder Suspect Released From Jail After Posting Bail

SAN LUIS OBISPO (CBSLA) – The father of the man charged with murder in the 1996 San Luis Obispo disappearance of 19-year-old Kristin Smart was released from jail late Wednesday night after posting reduced bail.

Fellow Student Killed Kristin Smart During Attempted Rape At Cal Poly Dorm, Prosecutors Allege
44-year-old Paul Flores and his father 80-year-old Ruben Flores, following their arrests on April 13, 2021, in the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart in San Luis Obispo, Calif. (San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office)

Eighty-year-old Ruben Flores was released from the San Luis Obispo County Jail after a judge reduced his bail from $250,000 to $50,000, according to KSBY-TV.

He posted bail and left the jail with his wife, Susan Flores, KSBY reports. The couple are the parents of 44-year-old Paul Flores, who was taken into custody April 13 at his San Pedro home on suspicion of murdering Smart.

Ruben Flores was also booked the same day in at his Arroyo Grande home in San Luis Obispo County on felony suspicion of accessory after the fact. Prosecutors believe that he helped his son hide Smart's body after the purported slaying.

In May of 1996, Smart of Stockton disappeared while a freshman at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. She was last seen leaving an off-campus party. Her body has never been found.

Flores, who has been the prime suspect in the case for decades, was a fellow student at Cal Poly at the time and is believed to be the last person to see her alive.

Documents obtained by the San Luis Obispo Tribune Tuesday indicate that investigators believe that Smart's body was buried under the deck of Ruben Flores' Arroyo Grande home at one time.

Both Paul and Ruben Flores pleaded not guilty to the charges at their arraignments Monday, appearing by video before a San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge. Paul Flores is being held without bail.

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow told reporters the day after the arrests that investigators believe that Flores killed Smart during an attempted rape in his dorm room.

In February of 2020, and again in April of 2020, detectives raided Flores' San Pedro home.

He was arrested in February on an unrelated weapons charge. He was released on bail at the time.

In mid-March, authorities served a search warrant at Ruben's San Luis Obispo County home using cadaver dogs and ground penetrating radar. The day of his arrest, a green forensic tent could be seen in the yard of Ruben's home, where San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson said physical evidence believed to be linked to Smart's disappearance was located. Parkinson said evidence was also found at Paul's home.

Meanwhile, Paul Flores is also under investigation in two unrelated sexual assault cases which occurred in the past several years in the Los Angeles area.

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