Community hosts event near Cal Poly honoring Kristin Smart 25 years after disappearance


SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Students at California Polytechnic State University have organized a walk to raise awareness about Kristin Smart’s story, marking 25 years since her disappearance.

The Stockton native was last seen with Paul Flores on the Cal Poly campus in San Luis Obispo County, where they were both freshmen.

In April, 44-year-old Flores was charged with murder. His father, 80-year-old Ruben Flores, was charged as an accessory after murder.

The pair pleaded not guilty.

The father and son were arrested after investigators said they found “biological evidence” indicating Smart had been buried under Ruben Flores’ deck and was recently moved, according to a court document.

Smart’s family has set up a scholarship for young women attending college in San Luis Obispo and San Joaquin Counties.

The Kristin Smart Scholarship, A Project Of Justice For Kristin, celebrates her life, hopes, dreams and ambitions – by empowering other college-bound women to pursue their ambitions in Kristin’s name. Thank you for your understanding and support, there is no greater acknowledgment of Kristin’s life than allowing us to give back in her name!!

The family marked the occasion with a statement Monday, thanking “Warriors for Kristin.”

It has been 25 years today since our daughter, Kristin, disappeared and to mark the occasion, members of our family traveled to San Luis Obispo this past weekend to celebrate Kristin’s life. As part of our visit, we took time to thank our special friends in the SLO area who have carried Kristin in their hearts including those in law enforcement who never gave up and continue today with steeled determination and effort to bring her home.

While we were not able to meet with all the Warriors for Kristin during our short stay, we wanted them to know that their determination over the years has been so valuable in sustaining Kristin’s memory.  We did have the opportunity to thank Sheriff Ian Parkinson for his relentless commitment and leadership, and we saluted all those in the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI for their efforts on this case. We will always be so grateful to Kristin’s earliest supporters, Jim and Garin Murphy, Dennis Mahon and Tana Coats, each of whom refused to give up. They, along with hundreds of early supporters, worked tirelessly to fight for justice for Kristin, including helping search and providing gifts of their time and donations. 

Finally, we especially wanted to thank Chris Lambert for his outstanding podcast, Your Own Backyard.  His interest and his unique ability to tell this story have been responsible for generating unimagined new attention to Kristin. Thank you to everyone who have helped us with our quest for justice. Your support will be forever remembered and appreciated by our family. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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