New court documents are shedding light on how Ruben Flores allegedly assisted his son, Paul, in the murder of Kristin Smart.
According to a county probation report seen by The San Luis Obispo Tribune, investigators believe Smart's body, who disappeared from a California university in 1996, was initially buried in the backyard of Ruben's Arroyo Grande home. The documents state that investigators "are in possession of biological evidence that makes them believe the victim was buried underneath (Ruben Flores') deck at one time."
Authorities have yet to find Smart's remains, but the report reveals they are in possession of "damning evidence that a body had been buried in that location and then recently moved."
The 2019 podcast Your Own Backyard brought renewed attention to the case, as well as Ruben and Paul's potential involvement. Host Chris Lambert shared accounts from people connected to the Flores family in November 2020, revealing suspicions that Ruben and Flores knew of Kristin's whereabouts.
Last month, detectives searched Ruben's home using cadaver dogs and ground-penetrating radar, according to The Los Angeles Times. A week later, detectives arrested Paul and Ruben and confirmed "forensic, physical evidence" was discovered at the property.
E! News reached out to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office, as well as Paul and Ruben's attorneys, but they are unable to address details because of a gag order pertaining to the case.
San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow previously acknowledged in an April 14 press conference that it is "complicated and difficult" to try a murder case without Kristin's body, but stated, "We don't make a decision to file unless we think we can prove a case."
At the time, Dow called for potential sexual assault victims of Paul to come forward with information. Since then, additional court documents filed Monday and seen by The Tribune state "dozens of women have recounted Paul Flores' sexual assaults and predatory behavior that document his 25 years as a serial rapist."
Paul has not been charged with any sex crimes.
On Monday, April 19, the father and son virtually appeared in court, where Paul pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and Ruben pleaded not guilty to being an accessory to the alleged crime.
The father and son have long been persons of interest in the cold case, with multiple witnesses telling authorities they saw Paul escorting Smart home from a party in 1996. Dow stated in the press conference that they have reason to believe Paul killed Smart that night during a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault in his college dorm.