'She deserves to go home': Despite Kristin Smart's killer's conviction, family will still look for her body

'She deserves to go home': Despite Kristin Smart's killer's conviction, family will still look for her body
Paul Flores was convicted of murdering Kristin Smart (FBI / San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA: The mystery surrounding the Kristin Smart case continues to loom, as friends and family say they will get closure after her body is found and brought home. The 19-year-old girl was last seen walking home from an off-campus frat party near California Polytechnic State University in May 1996.

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Her killer, Paul Flores, now 45, was a former classmate of Smart who insisted on walking the inebriated teen home, in the early hours of May 25, 1996, after she had been found passed out on a lawn. After a grueling three-month trial, Paul was convicted of murdering Smart in an attempted rape and later disposing of her body.

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Paul's father, Ruben Flores, who was also on trial over allegations that he was an accomplice in the crime, was acquitted of all charges. Although the conviction of Paul meant some respite for the family of the victim, her friend, Trevor Boelter, said the road to justice will end when they find Smart's body.

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Paul Flores (L), Kristin Smart (inset), and Ruben Flores (San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office)
Paul Flores (L), Kristin Smart (inset), and Ruben Flores (San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office)

While speaking to The US Sun after the verdict, Trevor said, "I'm glad that justice has been served and that Paul has been found guilty, but as long as Kristin Smart remains missing - there is still work that needs to be done," adding, "My hope is that they will find Kristin and return her to the Smart family - justice is one thing, but closure is another."

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He added, "Kristin deserves to go home." Trevor was a witness for the prosecution during Paul's trial. He testified to the jury about three different interactions he had with Smart on the night of her disappearance. Initially, she had introduced herself to him as "Roxy."

After getting introduced, Trevor recalled how Smart gave him an "open mouth kiss", grabbing him by the hand, and leading him into the bathroom. But once inside, Smart's confidence drifted. She then asked Trevor twice if she was ugly, to which he responded "no" both times. Trevor left after Smart said she needed to use the bathroom. Waiting outside was Paul who, with an "authority" in his voice, demanded to know, "what happened in there?" To which Trevor replied "nothing", and Paul just laughed.

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The second time he crossed Smart's path was when he noticed that she appeared to be uncomfortable by the presence of another man, who was not Paul. Trevor intervened, after which the person went away.

Finally, he saw Smart for a third and final time as he was leaving the party, who grabbed Trevor's hand for the second time and led him into the backyard where she said she wanted to speak with him. As per the outlet, she kissed him, but this time Trevor rejected her advances. He recalled Smart stumbling as she walked away from him. Meanwhile, other witnesses present at the party offered a similar testimony about Smart's drunken state, with Paul accused being around her.

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Steven Fleming, a basketball star at Cal-Poly Tech who had bonded with Smart over the fact they were both tall, said he saw Paul standing a few feet inside the door of a study area and that Smart was “back by, like, where the desks were.” He claimed that her body language showed “she was not okay" with him standing there. Similarly, Cheryl Anderson, another student, remembered Smart being "very intoxicated, her speech was slurred, and she was having trouble standing up.” After she was discovered passed out on the lawn of a neighboring home, Cheryl and party host Tim Davis tried to wake her up.

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It is then, according to Cheryl, that Paul came "out of nowhere" and offered to walk her home. All the three accompanied Smart, with Davis later breaking away to go back home. Once back on campus, Cheryl said she parted ways with Smart and Paul since she lived in a different dorm, making Paul promise that he would accompany her friend all the way home. However, she said, "I didn't think anything horrible was going to happen."

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