Kristin Smart Case
Kristin Denise Smart was a student at Cal PolyTech college in California. She went out to the party on May 25, 1996, and never made it back to her dorm. Most people are fairly certain that we know who killed her and where her body is but police will not follow up.
This is a case that is technically a missing persons case. Kristin was declared legally dead in 2002 but her body has still not been found so there is not psychical evidence of a murder. However, based on things that the suspect and those who know the suspect have said pretty much everyone believes this was a murder. It will make more sense in a little bit.
Kristin Smart was born to Stan Smart and Denise Smart on February 20, 1977, in Augsburg, Germany. Stan and Denise were teachers at a military base in Germany I believe. They taught the children that were housed there because one or both of their parents were soldiers or something along those lines. Eventually, they came back to the states and resided in California but there isn’t much information on Kristin’s childhood. By all accounts, she was a very happy child and loved her siblings and her parents dearly.
“I face into the wind, it purrs and whistles its secrets in my ear. Under the sun, floating upon the salty waters. I cringe with excitement to be in such a Heavenly Place.” -Kristin Smart, 1995
At the age of 18, she started at California Polytechnic State University for her Freshman year. From what I understand Cal Poly is what many people called this university and it seems it is more to the technical side of colleges. It is unclear what her major was but she was reportedly very good in class and she was a swimmer, she had always been athletic.
Memorial Day weekend is a big weekend for college students. This year it fell on the weekend of May 25, 1996, which is the official disappearance date for Kristin Smart. Kristin was with her friends in her dorm room when she began talking about the party she wanted to attend that night. It is reported that her dorm roommate was headed home for the weekend so obviously she could not attend the party with Kristin. Kristin’s other friends debated for a while but ended up not wanting to go to the party either. I don’t believe a reason has ever been given to why they did not want to attend. So Kristin, being the outgoing girl she was decided to just go alone. However, before she left for this party she called her family and left a message saying something along the lines of 'I have good news, I'll call you Sunday!' I have seen many differing reports of what kind of party it was. It seems that many people think it was a big frat party or something along those lines. However, other reports have stated that it was actually a fairly small birthday party of about 20 people. From my understanding of different websites and articles, Kristin wasn’t really friends with anyone at this party but she did at least know a few of the people.
According to reports, it seems that at some point at that party Kristin started to drink quite heavily because eventually, she was too drunk to walk all the way home. A witness in the following weeks named Trevor who had also been at the party and had seen Kristin. He stated that she was acting extremely intoxicated but had not seen her drink anything, he stated he thought someone slipped Kristin something. This is where people started to think that maybe Kristin had been drugged.
At the time of Kristin’s disappearance, a store at Cal Poly was selling Ketamine. It was legal because it was only 1996 and the school had veterinary programs I believe so they needed this available to some students. Many people believe that this is what Kristin was drugged with the night she disappeared because it would have mimicked the effects of extreme intoxication and it was easy to get ahold of.
Around 2 a.m. on May 25, 1996, she was found almost passed out on someone’s front lawn. A senior at Cal Poly named Tim found Kristin and helped her stand up and tried to start walking her back to her dorm. At some point, another freshman girl that was near (it is said that both Tim and this girl were at the same party as Kristin) comes up and started to help Tim get Kristin back to her dorm. Eventually, our main suspect makes an entrance, Paul Flores. Paul was at the party as well and supposedly saw Tim and the other girl helping Kristin walk. Once Paul comes up to help then Tim splits off from the group to head to his home that is off-campus. The three continue to walk on but apparently, the other girl's dorm was closer than Kristin’s and she splits from the remaining two to get to bed. This was the last time that Kristin was seen alive by someone other than our main suspect. It was only 40 yards from this girl's dorm to Kristin’s but something terrible happened in those 40 yards that night.
This other girl would later state that Paul was very creepy to her. He wanted a kiss or a hug and she refused. I have also heard that some dorms and women on campus would refer to Paul as Chester the Molester. It is unclear if this female witness knew this but it is assumed she didn’t. She thought that Kristin would be safe with him, he was just bugging her at the time.
When Sunday passed and Kristin didn’t call her family like she stated she was going to they began to worry but let it go because maybe Kristin was just busy. When the weekend was coming to a close Kristin’s roommate at college came back and saw Kristin’s stuff identical to when she left on Friday. She knew Kristin hadn’t been back to the dorm and she began to worry as well. Krystal, Kristin’s roommate ended up calling campus police and basically reported her as missing. However, they didn’t search or do anything until Tuesday once classes started up again. They stated that maybe Kristin went on a trip because many college kids liked to do that for memorial day weekend, still, nothing had left her room so it didn’t make sense. I would like to mention here that campus police were basically the only police in the jurisdiction of the college. Since it was a little bit out of the San Luis Obispo, California. City police didn’t take control of the case and the college police were not liable to tell them anything.
When investigations did start the police looked at Paul Flores first, I do want to say that this took them 3 weeks from when she disappeared to talk to him. Paul was a freshman at Cal Poly as well. But it is stated he was barley getting through college. Friends stated that Paul had a problem with drinking and would get quite annoying when he did. Trevor was asked about what Paul was like at the party that night and he stated that he didn’t notice Paul much but he did see that he was somewhat harassing a girl at the party until her boyfriend put a stop to it. Paul’s statement to the police was that he got Kristin back to the door of her dorms and that is where he left her. He is basically saying he didn’t do anything to her but he also didn’t make sure she was safe in her room before he left, so anything could’ve happened. After a month Kristin’s case was finally turned over to the city police because campus police just really didn’t seem to care. I try to be unbiased in these cases, though normally I fail, this case is one where I firmly believe the police are the reason this case is still open. You will see that they did not follow up tips or reports or evidence like they should’ve. It was then found out that there were witnesses to Paul being back to his dorm room around 3 a.m. that night. They reported that at this time Paul went to take a shower. This seems as if he was trying to get rid of the evidence.
Eventually, the sheriff’s office is called in and they bring four cadaver dogs with them. They seem to have let them loose in the hall of Paul’s dorm but all the dogs went straight to Pauls’ room. Paul did have a roommate but the dogs all alerted to Paul’s side of the room. More specifically they alerted to one part of Paul’s mattress, so it was taken for evidence. They decided to let the dogs try one more time after the mattress was taken out and they still alerted to his side of the room. I should mention that at this time Paul had already dropped out of Cal Poly but his side of the room was empty now. Paul’s roommate even told police that Paul had confessed to killing Kristin but police did literally nothing with this information. At this point, Paul started to plead the 5th and lawyer up.
Eventually the sheriff’s office is called in and they bring four cadaver dogs with them. They seem to have let them loose in the hall of Paul’s dorm but all the dogs went straight to Pauls’ room. Paul did have a roommate but the dogs all alerted to Paul’s side of the room. More specifically they alerted to one part of Paul’s mattress, so it was taken for evidence. They decided to let the dogs try one more time after the mattress was taken out and they still alerted to his side of the room. I should mention that at this time Paul had already dropped out of Cal Poly but his side of the room was empty now. Paul’s roommate even told police that Paul had confessed to killing Kristin but police did literally nothing with this information.
At the time of Kristin’s disappearance, Paul’s mother had a rental property in the same area as Cal Poly. There was no one inhabiting this property at the time. The neighbor, supposedly the one that lived behind this rental property, stated that the night Kristin went missing he had been looking out his window that could see his backyard and the Flores’ rental house backyard. He stated that very late in the night/early in the morning he saw someone, Paul he later named, and another man digging a waist-deep hole that was about 6 foot long in their backyard. After which the couple picked up a very heavy looking rolled-up rug and threw it into the whole and subsequently covered it with concrete.
About a year after Kristin’s disappearance someone had moved into the Flores’ rental home. As this woman who rented the home was washing her car she found a small blue earring on the driveway. The police came and collected it. Through asking the family they confirmed it was Kristin’s and it seemed like there was blood on the earring as well. However, police misplaced it and it has never been found again.
I am not sure on the date but apparently, Paul Flores’ father had a cable guy over working on something and had gotten drunk. The cable guy reported that Mr.Flores had told him that Kristin Smart had been rolled up in a rug. This lines up with what the neighbor said he saw that night as well.
In 1996 Paul was not indicted by a grand jury and hasn’t said anything about the case since. At one point in 2005 when the Smart’s filed a wrongful death suit towards Paul, Paul was going to make a deal. His attorney told the Smart’s that if Paul was downgraded to an accidental manslaughter charge then he would give the location of Kristin’s body. This screams that Paul is not innocent. However, the police made an awful call and reported that they did not have enough on Paul to charge him. This caused the deal to be thrown away by Paul and his lawyer. After this, the Flores family also filed a suit against the Smart family for emotional distress which I will never understand.
Although I don’t believe it and it has been thrown away now I do want to mention another suspect that was in this case. His name was Scott Peterson, yes the one who killed his wife Laci Peterson. Due to both Scott and Kristin being at Cal Poly at the same time police wanted to look into this. I just thought this was interesting to include although this is no longer a person of interest.
After the time of the lawsuits there haven’t been many new tips in Kristin’s case but there have been searches. Police and cadaver dogs searched the hillside on the campus and dug through tons of dirt but never found anything there. Police also brought cadaver dogs to the backyard of the Flores’ rental house and these dogs indicated to human decomposition right where the neighbor witness said the hole had been dug by Paul and another man. However, the police refused to dig up the yard.
A dog by the name of Buster and his handler also came into the Flores’ backyard as volunteers in 2014. Buster subsequently went to the area these other dogs alerted to and laid down, this meant a full indication. His handler said there is 100% a human body there if Buster did a full indication of it. However, police would still not dig up the yard because there was no qualification course for cadaver dogs in California so police stated that buster was not qualified. Just to show you how qualified he was, buster had found 47 missing soldiers' bodies from WW2 in Belgium.
Buster also found the body of Lynsie Ekelund who was killed in 2001. Her body was found by him 10 years after her disappearance and at a construction site under tons of dirt. This dog knew what he was doing and he knew there were human remains in that backyard. Even if police found nothing they should’ve dug and tried at least. To back up Buster Dr. Arpad Vass, who was a big piece in the prosecutor's side of the Casey Anthony case, took soil samples of the area Buster alerted to. When he examined the soil samples at least one had clear results, it contained a chemical that was specific to human decomposition. The police still did nothing.
Kristin’s case did some good in the community by starting the Kristin Smart Campus Security Act in 1991 which was unanimously voted in. This act makes all publicly funded educational institutions have their security services make agreements with local police departments about reporting cases involving or possibly involving violence against students, including missing students.
The most recent piece of evidence is from February of this year, 2020. Police conducted four search warrants in California and Washington where they state they recovered ‘some items of interest.’ Kristin’s mother stated at this time that an FBI officer had told her to be ready for something big soon, also it will be something that she doesn’t expect. All we can hope is that this big break will soon be known to the public and that Kristin can get the closure she deserves.