Search warrant served in 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly SLO student Kristin Smart

State News

A search warrant served Wednesday morning in San Pedro is tied to the mysterious disappearance of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Kristin Smart, who vanished nearly 24 years ago and is presumed dead.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office served warrants at four different locations as they seek “specific items of evidence” in the case, according to a news release from the agency.

The two others were served in San Luis Obispo County, and the fourth location is in Washington state.

“The search warrants are limited in scope, and sealed by the court,” sheriff’s officials said, noting they could not disclose further details.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller confirmed to KTLA that the FBI is assisting with the investigation.

Personnel from the federal bureau, as well as investigators from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, could be seen outside a home in the 900 block of Upland Avenue in San Pedro before 9 a.m., video from the scene showed.

A flyer taped to a telephone pole on the block was seeking information about Smart. It had a photo of the missing student, who vanished in 1996 at the age of 19 after leaving an off-campus party.

Smart was declared dead in 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported. Her body has not been found.

Also pictured on the flyer was a man the handbill identified as Paul Flores, who — according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune — was the last person seen with Smart. He was also a student at Cal Poly at the time.

The newspaper reported that Flores currently resides in San Pedro. Authorities have not revealed whether his home was the one being searched, however.

Multiple sources told the Times that warrants are part of an effort to gather DNA and other physical evidence as they try to piece together how Smart died.

Wednesday’s development comes after two trucks belonging to members of the Flores family in 1996 were taken into evidence last week, according to the Tribune.

KTLA’s Albert Mendez contributed to this story. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.