Student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo University, Kristin Smart, nicknamed Roxie, vanished 20 years ago after heading out for a fraternity party during the 1996 Memorial Day Weekend. Her body was never recovered, yet new leads and the help of a trio of FBI owned cadaver dogs have led officials to three locations under which authorities believe they may find the teen’s remains.
The parents of Kristin, Stan and Denise, endorse these new efforts, but their statement indicated that their hopes are “tempered.” The couple appreciates the dedication of all who are taking part in the renewed attempt to find their daughter, and they hope “the person of interest” will soon be held accountable for taking her life and harboring her remains for 20 years.
— Mustang News (@CPMustangNews) September 17, 2016
Although the authorities have been led to three locations in the vicinity of the University, experts and neighbors share that they believe the digging is happening in the wrong spot, and the efforts should be focused on the backyard of the man who was last seen with Smart, Paul Forbes. In 2000 Jack Schafer, an agent for the FBI, conducted a private investigation into the disappearance of Smart. He reviewed police reports and interviews conducted by law enforcement officials with the prime suspect. Schafer concluded that her death was a result of a criminal act.
“I believe Kristin Smart is deceased and that her death and/or disposal of her remains are a result of a criminal act.”
The final night Kristin was seen alive, as noted, the 19-year-old swimmer attended a fraternity party hosted by Kappa Chi fraternity on Crandall Way, and she was seen passed out following the event on a lawn at around 2:30 a.m. A group of students woke her and once she was up, Smart reportedly clung involuntarily to, as the Daily Beast shares, ” a troubled Cal Poly interloper named Paul Flores who joined the handful of students retreating for the night to the dorms.”
Search for Kristin Smart, Cal Poly student missing 20 years, yields remains https://t.co/pxTXvLnrfi pic.twitter.com/j3M8UhSWa4
— The Sacramento Bee (@sacbee_news) September 10, 2016
Also 19, Flores spoke with investigators that night about the contact he had with Smart, whom he barely knew before that night. He told investigators she was “walking real slow,” and he put his hands on her waist to allegedly keep her warm from the chill of the early morning air on May 25, 1996.
The publication shared the remainder of Flores’ statement. “… a couple times like on the way, maybe probably twice you know, I went like that just gave her kind of a hug ’cause she was freezin’,” he told Cal Poly’s campus cops, according to Schafer’s report. Flores said he left Smart at her room at Muir Hall before crashing at his room in nearby Santa Lucia Hall.”OK um, she walked that way, I walked that way,” Flores told campus cops. “That’s the last time I saw her.”
When a missing person’s report was produced on May 28, 1996, Smart’s roommate noticed that none of her belongings were missing from her dorm room, and a month later, there was still no sign of Smart. Authorities followed cadaver dogs roaming the campus to room 128 in Santa Lucia Hall, where Flores lived with his roommate, Derrick Tse.
Additional cadaver dogs were brought to the room and “each dog alerted on a corner of a bed mattress located on the left side of the room.” Tse told officers that the bed was Flores’. The mattress was confiscated as evidence, and dogs once again returned to the same room, even without the mattress, “alerted on the left side of the room.” This indicated “a strong possibility that a deceased body had been in that room.”
Tse was interviewed by police, and he quoted Flores as saying “Yes, I killed her and brought her to my mom’s and she is still there.”
On May 31, Flores was asked about cuts on his knees and a bruise under his right eye. He stated that the black eye was from a friend during a pickup game of basketball, yet the friend named stated that Flores already had the black eye upon seeing him at the game on May 26, 1996.
On May 31, 1996, investigators from the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office asked Flores about cuts on his knees and a bruise under his right eye. The friend even recalled asking Flores about the black eye, and he responded that he didn’t know how he got it.
[Featured Image by David Middlecamp / AP Images]