Two suspects arrested in the disappearance of Kristin Smart, family and sources say

Originally Published: 13 APR 21 13:30 ET
Updated: 13 APR 21 13:45 ET

    (CNN) -- Two men were arrested Tuesday morning in connection with the disappearance of Kristin Smart, the California college student who vanished in 1996, a spokesman for the family and two law enforcement sources confirmed to CNN.

John Segale, a Smart family spokesperson, told CNN the family was notified by law enforcement officials Tuesday that Paul Flores and his father, Ruben Flores, were arrested Tuesday morning.

Two law enforcement sources confirmed the arrests were made Tuesday morning in the case. Paul and Ruben Flores are in the custody of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office, one of the sources said.

Last month, authorities searched Ruben Flores' home in Arroyo Grande. Flores' son, Paul, has remained the prime suspect in the decades-long missing persons case.

Reached by phone, Robert Sanger, an attorney representing Paul Flores, said he would not comment on "pending cases." An attorney for Ruben Flores could not immediately be reached.

News of the arrest was met with emotion from the Smart family, Segale said.

There were "a lot of really emotional moments," he said. "A lot of prayers, astonishment, excitement, happiness, and of course sadness. Sadness, because this has gone on for 25 years. The Smart family had not been able to bury their daughter. There was no closure."

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office plans a 2 p.m. local time news conference (5 pm. ET).

Smart disappeared on May 25, 1996. She was last seen near her Cal Polytechnic San Luis Obispo dorm, police said, after walking home from a party.

Smart was declared dead in 2002.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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