Paul Flores, suspect in Kristin Smart case, was subject of Redondo Beach rape investigation 14 years ago

Local news
The alleged rape in Redondo Beach, which has not previously been reported, was one of multiple cases in which Flores was suspected of sexually assaulting women. He is also a suspect in two more recent alleged sexual assaults being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, authorities say. Flores has not been charged with any sex crimes stemming from his time in Southern California.(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

The alleged rape in Redondo Beach, which has not previously been reported, was one of multiple cases in which Flores was suspected of sexually assaulting women. He is also a suspect in two more recent alleged sexual assaults being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, authorities say. Flores has not been charged with any sex crimes stemming from his time in Southern California.(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

Fourteen years ago, police in Redondo Beach were called to a hospital where a woman had come after waking up in a stranger’s bed, naked and with no memory of what had happened. She believed she had been raped.

An examination confirmed she’d had sex with a man. Police uploaded his DNA profile to a law enforcement database and, a few years later, it matched to a name: Paul Ruben Flores.

Redondo detectives opened a rape investigation into Flores. Although he was not charged in the case, the DNA hit sounded alarms 200 miles north in San Luis Obispo, where Flores was the prime suspect in the enduring mystery of Kristin Smart’s disappearance and presumed death.

Smart, a 19-year-old freshman at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, had vanished on Memorial Day weekend in 1996. She was last seen walking with Flores, a classmate, but without sufficient evidence tying him to the crime, he remained free.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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