A jury on Tuesday found Paul Flores guilty of the first-degree murder of Kristin Smart following a three-month trial at a court in Salinas, California. Smart disappeared from Cal Poly, where she was a student, in 1996.
Flores was the primary person of interest in the investigation from almost the beginning.
A separate but concurrent trial by another jury found his father, Ruben Flores, not guilty of being an accessory after the fact to the murder. He was accused of helping Paul Flores conceal the body for the past 26 years.
Interest in the cold case was reignited by 2019 podcast Your Own Backyard, in which Chris Lambert interviewed witnesses and conducted an investigation that was followed by the arrests of Paul and Ruben Flores in April 2021.
Smart disappeared after attending an off-campus party during the Memorial Day weekend in 1996 and was last seen with Paul Flores. Smart's remains have never been found.
Flores awaits sentencing.