SALINAS, California — After one day, the trial in the 1996 disappearance of college freshman Kristin Smart has been delayed due to a "health concern." Court was canceled until at least Thursday.
The man who was last seen with Kristin Smart, the college freshman who vanished from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo 26 years ago, is on trial more than a year after he was arrested on a murder charge along with his father, who is accused of helping hide her body.
Opening statements began Monday in Monterey County Superior Court in Salinas in the case against Paul Flores and his father, Ruben Flores, who is charged as an accessory. Both men have pleaded not guilty.
Paul Flores was long considered a person of interest in the killing, but prosecutors only arrested him and his father in 2021 after the investigation was revived.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson acknowledged missteps by detectives over the years and he credited a popular podcast about Smart's disappearance called “Your Own Backyard” for helping unearth new information and inspiring witnesses to speak with investigators.
The trial is expected to last about four months.