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The main suspect in the puzzling disappearance of a student in the US is found guilty after 26 years.


Paul Flores now faces a penalty between 25 years in prison and life in prison for the disappearance and murder of Kristin Smart in 1996. He will be sentenced on December 9.

Paul Flores, prime suspect in the case of Kristin Smart, a student who disappeared in May 1996 while returning to his residence after a party, this was declared 00 October guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in California (USA), local media reported.

The verdict, announced in the Monterey de Salinas County Superior Court, comes after an eight-day deliberation and a trial that lasted three months, within the framework of a case that has shocked the country and has been seen hampered for nearly three decades by the fact that until now the body of the victim has not been found


Flowers of 45 years, now faces a sentence between 25 years and life imprisonment, and will be sentenced on p next December 9. Meanwhile, his father, Rubén Flores, aged 81, accused of having helped him dispose of the remains of the young woman, he was acquitted of complicity by a separate jury.

The case

Paul Flores is accused of attempting to rape Kristin Smart and murder her after she attended a party off campus on 25 May 1996. The young woman, from 10 years, she was last seen in the company of the defendant, then her classmate, and who, according to witnesses, offered to accompany her to her dorm at California State Polytechnic University due to her drunken state.

Hallan los restos de una mujer embarazada asesinada por su marido en 1999Hallan los restos de una mujer embarazada asesinada por su marido en 1999

Smart not he returned to his room. She was never seen again and three days later she was considered a missing person by the Police. She was declared legally dead in 2002 and only almost two decades later, in 2022, the investigators pointed to Flores as the main suspect. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson acknowledged the missteps of detectives over the years and credited a popular podcast about the disappearance of Smart, created in 2019 and called ‘Your Own Backyard’, by help uncover information and encourage witnesses to speak to authorities.

In this way, the authorities managed to direct their attention to the house of Rubén Flores, where in March 2021 a search was carried out using human remains detection dogs and ground-penetrating radar. As a result, a

coffin-sized soil disturbance and the presence of human blood were discovered. A month later, the Smart family’s attorney, James Murphy, accused Flores’ father of moving the victim’s body from his property to another location, a few days after law enforcement conducted a search of his home in February of 2020.

Paul Flores was finally arrested at his home in San Pedro (California) on April 2020 charged with murder. His lawyer, Robert Sanger, considers that there is no hard evidence and insists that the case is based on hearsay, which was charged strength thanks to extensive media coverage. He further argues that there are gaps in the witness statements, whose memories he questioned given that Kristin Smart’s disappearance happened 26 years.


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