• The San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office said investigators searched the home of Paul Flores in the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart
  • Flores has been a person of interest in the case since 1996 because she was last seen in his company
  • Smart was last reportedly seen on May 25, 1996, and was declared dead in 2002 though no body was found

California police said a search was conducted in the home of a person of interest in the disappearance of a college student in 1996.

The San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office said it executed a search warrant for the Los Angeles home of Paul Flores on Wednesday. Sheriff’s spokesperson Tony Cipolla said in a press release investigators were looking “for specific items of evidence” at Flores’ home.

Flores has been a person of interest in the Kristin Smart case since she disappeared in 1996.

Smart, then 19, was a freshman at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. She had reportedly attended an off-campus party on May 25, 1996, and was last seen walking back to her campus dorm with Flores.

After she was reported missing, massive search efforts began around California that proved futile. Interviews also failed to produce any possible leads as to Smart's whereabouts.

Smart was declared dead in 2002, but her body was never found.

The case gained renewed interest in January when Smart’s mother, Denise, said the family had been contacted by an ex-FBI agent regarding the case. She told the Stockton Record there had been a development in the case and the family needed to “be ready.”

“This is really going to be something you don’t expect. We want to give you the support you need,” Denise Smart said the agent told her, adding there was no indication of a timetable, but the family might want to hire a spokesperson.

The agent’s call was followed by news that police had seized two trucks that reportedly belonged to Flores’ relatives in 1996.

Searches were then conducted in February at four sites between California and Washington state. However, police did not say what or if they found anything.

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