SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A judge has ruled that a father and son will stand trial for the suspected murder of Kristin Smart, a college student who vanished 25 years ago at California Polytechnic State University.
Paul Flores, who is now 44 years old, was the last person seen with Smart while she was noticeably intoxicated back in 1996. She was headed back to her dorm leaving a party. Prosecutors accuse him of getting her to his dorm room that night, killing her while attempting to rape her.
His father, 80-year-old Ruben Flores, is accused of helping his son dispose of Smart’s body.
During a preliminary hearing Wednesday, San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen said there was sufficient evidence for the two to go to trial and face a murder charge for Paul and an accomplice charge for Ruben.
“We continue to support the family of Kristin Smart as we work toward justice,” said District Attorney Dan Dow.
Authorities have yet to recover Smart’s body, however they believe she could have initially been buried in Ruben’s backyard. Archaeologists at the hearing said the ground under the deck looked to have been dug into a grave at some point.
Cindy Arrington, an archaeologist with Natural Investigations, Inc., said she found a “clear subsurface disturbance” and “a large anomaly” that was “large enough to fit human remains into,” the Tribune of San Luis Obispo reported. However, no human remains were found.
Prosecutors say someone has since moved the body from the home. Other evidence presented includes cadaver dogs alerting police to the scent of death near Flores’ bed.
Paul and Ruben have both pleaded not guilty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.