‘Things should had been done differently’: Cal Poly issues FIRST EVER public apology to family of Kristin Smart 27 years to the day after she went missing on college campus
- Kristin Smart disappeared on Cal Poly’s campus in 1996 after leaving a party intoxicated with Paul Flores, who was convicted of her murder in 2023
- California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) issued an apology to her family, saying ‘things should had been done differently’
- It’s the first time the school has apologized to the family since Smart’s murder
California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) issued an apology to the family of Kristin Smart for the first time since she went missing on the college campus 27 years ago.
The Stockton native disappeared on Cal Poly’s campus in 1996 and after campus police refused to file a missing persons report, the school told her family she had just gone camping.
In March, Paul Flores was jailed for 25 years for the student’s murder.
Now, the polytechnic school has issued an apology to the family, with President Jeffrey D. Armstrong, writing: ‘We are very sorry for what the Smart family has endured. What they have been through is unimaginably heartbreaking, and I feel for them in ways I can’t express with words.
‘While it is a different administration now than was in place in 1996, we recognize that things should had been done differently – and I personally wish that they had.’
Armstrong went on to say that ‘Kristin’s story is something that is always with us and weighs heavy on our hearts’ and that the school is ‘determined to do all we can to help ensure the safety of all our students now and in the future.’
‘While we will never be able to control what an individual with bad intent decides to do, we are constantly working to help ensure things like this don’t happen again at Cal Poly,’ he wrote. ‘Cal Poly places the utmost priority on the safety of its campus community members. The university has robust programming aimed at providing public safety services to all of our students, employees and visitors.’
Smart disappeared in 1996. The case remained unsolved for decades, but a 2020 true crime podcast jolted local police.
Smart and Flores were both students at California Polytech University in San Luis Obispo. Flores, now 46, was arrested as a result. While police have never found her remains, they believe Flores raped her in his dorm room then murdered her.
Smart left an off-campus party on May 25, 1996 at around 2am, accompanied by Flores.
He claimed he walked her as far as her dorm, but she was never seen again.
A missing persons report was filed three days later.
Friends said she was intoxicated and Flores repeatedly said he would escort her home.
He was identified as a ‘person of interest’ early in the case, but to this day insists he is innocent.
On Friday, the judge said he was a dangerous predator.
‘This predatory behavior has spanned your adult life, Judge Jennifer O’Keefe said. ‘You deserve to spend very day you have left behind bars.
‘Mr. Flores, you have been a cancer to society.