2nd search warrant this year served at San Pedro home of ‘person of interest’ in Kristin Smart cold case

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Investigators returned to San Pedro on Wednesday to serve another search warrant at the the home of Paul Flores, the man identified as a person of interest in the 1996 disappearance and unsolved death of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Kristin Smart.

It’s the second time this year that authorities have searched Flores’ home in connection with the high-profile missing person’s case.

On Feb. 5, the residence was was one of four locations in California and Washington where warrants were served, according to a news release from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

The latest search warrant is “for specific items of evidence” at the house, the release stated. Authorities said they could not provide any additional information about the search warrant because, like the ones served in February, it is sealed by the court.

However, sources told the Los Angeles Times back in the February that investigators were trying to gather DNA and other physical evidence that could provide clues about what happened to Smart, whose body was never found.

The 19-year-old was declared legally dead in 2002.

Flores has long been associated with the case. A former classmate at Cal Poly SLO, he was the last person to see Smart before she vanished after attending an off-campus party nearly 24 years ago.

Investigators could be seen speaking with Flores in the 900 block of Upland Avenue after they served the warrant in February. No arrests were made.

Flores has never been criminally charged in the case although he was the subject of a civil lawsuit filed by Smart’s family, according to the Times.

In late January of this year, the Sheriff’s Office said it had devoted numerous resources to solving the cold case, noting that the agency has served 19 search warrants, submitted 37 items of older evidence for modern DNA testing, recovered 140 new items of evidence and interviewed 91 people since 2011.

During that same time span, the office has spent about $62,000 in investigated expenses and invested more than 7,500 employee hours on the since 2011, according to a sheriff’s statement.

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