Skip to Content

Kristin Smart’s parents questioned during first day of preliminary hearing

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Paul and Ruben Flores appeared in court Monday as the preliminary hearing in the Kristin Smart murder case began. The hearing began with emotional testimony from Denise Smart, Kristin's mother.

The mother of Smart was called as the first witness of the preliminary hearing. She fielded questions from the prosecution and talked about her close relationship with Kristin.

Denise spoke about her other children, their close relationships together and how Kristin missed out on her siblings' major milestones and accomplishments: graduations, weddings, and the births of multiple nieces and nephews.

She also spoke about the continuing struggle she and her husband, Stan, experienced as they "tried everything they could" to find her after she disappeared. Smart said the last time she heard from her daughter was in a voicemail she left for her just before she disappeared.

During Paul Flores' defense attorney Robert Sanger's cross examination of Denise Smart, it was said Kristin was applying for jobs as a model under the nickname Roxy in the U.S. and overseas including in Thailand. Sanger alleged that Smart struggled academically at Cal Poly and was in danger of flunking out. In a previous hearing, Sanger floated the idea that Smart may still be alive.

Despite the murder charges, the body of Kristin Smart has not been recovered. Although rare, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's office has successfully prosecuted murder cases without a body in the past.

Stan Smart, Kristin's father, took the stand Monday afternoon. He said he spent months looking for Kristin the year she disappeared and said he was initially unsatisfied with the response from Cal Poly police who had suggested she may have gone camping.

The lack of new information regarding his daughter's disappearance led him to the home of Paul Flores' father, Ruben Flores. Stan Smart told the prosecution that he went to Ruben's Arroyo Grande home after learning that Paul was questioned by police in Kristin's disappearance.

Smart said Ruben Flores confronted him at the home, telling him to leave otherwise "someone could get shot."

Paul Flores is believed to be the last person to see the Cal Poly freshman alive. He is accused of killing Smart during an attempted rape in his Cal Poly dorm room. Ruben Flores is alleged to have helped conceal Smart's body.

The two were arrested back in April as part of the decades-long investigation into the disappearance of Smart.

Paul Flores has been charged for the murder of Smart and his father faces charges as an accessory. The two have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Flores' mother, Susan Flores, invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination and will not testify.

The preliminary hearing will determine if there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial. Your NewsChannel will have reporters in court throughout the whole preliminary hearing, which is expected to take three weeks.

Visit our website throughout the hearing as we continue to provide updates.

Playlist: The Disappearance of Kristin Smart

Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Keith Carls

Keith Carls is a reporter at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Keith, click here.

Author Profile Photo

Travis Schlepp

Travis Schlepp is the Digital Content Director for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Travis, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content