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New search conducted in 1996 disappearance of California student Kristin Smart

Search conducted in Kristin Smart disappearance

A new search warrant was served Wednesday at the Los Angeles home of a man who has long been described as a person of interest in the 1996 disappearance of California college student Kristin Smart, authorities said. The warrant served at the home of Paul Flores was seeking "specific items of evidence," the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office said in a press release.

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CBS Los Angeles captured aerial images of Wednesday's raid.  CBS Los Angeles

Flores' home in the San Pedro district near Los Angeles harbor was among four locations in California and Washington state where search warrants were previously served in February. The Sheriff's Office said all warrants were sealed by the court and nothing about them would be disclosed.

CBS Los Angeles captured aerial images of Wednesday's raid. A neighbor, wishing to be identified only as Mike, told the station about the first time a warrant was served at the home.

"I didn't see anything this morning but I know this is the second time they've been here. Last time they were here with the FBI," he said. "He's pretty quiet, he really never talks to anybody. Just comes out and throws out his trash."

"There's a possibility for everything right? I feel like they're reaching for a reason so they might have evidence that might point towards him," he said.

In February, investigators also searched two vintage vehicles in San Pedro and took several electronic devices out of Flores' green, one-story home. 

Missing Student Cold Case
A member of the Los Angeles Sheriffs Dept. photographs a vehicle during an investigation outside of a home in connection with a cold case Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Los Angeles. Search warrants were served Wednesday at locations in California and Washington state in the investigation of the disappearance of Kristin Smart, the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo student who disappeared in 1996. Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Smart, 19, of Stockton, California, vanished while returning to a dorm at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, after a party. She was seen with Flores, who also was a student, but he has never been arrested or charged in the case.

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Kristin Smart CBS

The Sheriff's Office has described the investigation as active and ongoing.

In addition to the warrants, investigators conducted digs on the campus in 2016.

In January, Kristin Smart's mother, Denise, told the Stockton Record she was contacted by the FBI and they told her to "be ready" for unexpected news about the case.

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