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A decade after Kristin Smart disappeared her alleged killer was a suspect in the rape investigation of another California woman.
Newly released Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office reports show that investigators eyed Paul Flores in 2012 when his DNA profile matched a sample collected from a Southern California woman who was sexually assaulted in 2007, according to NBC News.
The woman told investigators that she blacked out at a bar in Redondo Beach and woke up, naked and disoriented, in a stranger’s bed. She went to a hospital and was given a forensic examination where a DNA sample was obtained. Despite the match to Flores' DNA, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office determined there was insufficient evidence to prove the allegations of rape beyond a reasonable doubt and declined to prosecute the case NBC News reports. But while police were still investigating the incident, a bartender divulged that at least one other bar patron had told a similar story about being assaulted by Flores.
John Segale, a representative for the Smart family, said that the family is not commenting on the 2007 allegations.
Dow noted during last week’s presser that prosecutors plan to intertwine evidence of sexual assaults of other women into the Kristin Smart murder case.
Smart vanished in 1996 after attending an off-campus party. She was last seen being escorted back to her dorm by California Polytechnic University classmate Paul Flores. Flores, now 44, has always been the key suspect in her disappearance. Dan Dow, the San Luis Obispo County district attorney, said at a press conference last week that investigators think Flores killed Smart during a rape attempt in his dorm room.
Both he and his 80-year-old father, Ruben Flores, were both taken into custody last week. Investigators believe that the elder Flores helped cover up his son's murder; Paul Flores has been charged with first-degree murder and Ruben Flores is charged with being an accessory. Prosecutors have alleged in court documents that “dozens of women have recounted Paul Flores’ sexual assaults and predatory behavior that document his 25 years as a serial rapist.”
Both men pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on Monday.
While Smart's remains have not been found, she was declared legally dead in 2002. Newly leaked documents reveal that investigators allegedly found evidence to suggest that her body was buried under the deck of Ruben Flores' home and was recently relocated.
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