Search warrant issued in 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart

Written by on April 24, 2020

FBIBy LAUREN BOTCHAN, ABC News

(LOS ANGELES) — A new search warrant was issued Wednesday morning at the Los Angeles County home of Paul Flores in the ongoing cold case investigation into the disappearance of Kristin Smart.

It’s been almost 24 years since Smart, a 19-year-old freshman at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, was last seen walking back to her dorm room after a party on campus in May of 1996.

Flores, who authorities say was the last person to have seen her alive, has been a person of interest in the case for years.

The search warrant issued Wednesday was for “specific items of evidence” according to a statement released by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

The statement also said that no further information would be released about what items were being sought or what officers may find at the residence. The statement did say this continues to be an ongoing investigation.

Flores “continues to be a person of interest in the disappearance of Kristin Smart in 1996” the sheriff’s office said.

In February, the sheriff’s office served search warrants in connection with the case at four locations in California and Washington.

Investigators searching for Smart’s body excavated an area of the California Polytechnic campus in 2016, but failed to unearth any remains.

In September of 2019, interest in the case surged after freelance journalist and podcaster Chris Lambert released an episodic podcast, “Your Own Backyard,” about the case.

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