Topline

Kristin Smart, the 19-year-old California college student who vanished in 1996, was killed in an attempted rape by a classmate whose father helped him hide the body, prosecutors alleged Wednesday.

Key Facts

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow said prosecutors have filed a first-degree murder charge against Paul Flores and an accessory charge against his father, Ruben.

The two were arrested Tuesday afternoon in California and have not yet entered pleas in the case. 

Key Background

Paul Flores, 44, has long been identified as the prime suspect in the case. He was the last person seen with Smart at California Polytechnic State University on May 25, 1996, as the two walked home from an off-campus party. “It is alleged he caused Kristin’s death while in the commission of or attempt to commit rape,” Dow said. The allegation against 80-year-old Ruben Flores is that “he helped conceal Kristin’s body after she was murdered,” Dow added. 

What To Watch For

Both Paul and Ruben Flores are scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

Crucial Quote

“Kristin’s family has been incredibly gracious through the years,” Dow said. “They have willed this moment to happen and we owe them a large debt of gratitude.”