The father of murder suspect Paul Flores was captured by a Google Maps street view car on his property staring down the camera.
In the picture, he is standing in his garden with a hand on the back of his head with the sunshine beaming down on him.
The street view car is passing and taking thousands of snapshots of the road for Google Maps, unknowingly photographing someone who would later be arrested in relation to a missing person case.
On May 25, 1996, Kristin Smart disappeared on the campus of California Polytechnic State University in Luis Obispo, about 190 miles north of Los Angeles.
After 25 years since her disappearance Paul Flores, 44, was charged with first-degree murder while his 80-year-old father Rueben was charged with accessory after the fact to the crime of murder.
On Wednesday, (April 14), Flores’ father, Rueben Flores, was charged and detained by the Luis Obispo District Attorney.
At the time she vanished she was just 19 years old and in her first year of university. On that night she’d been to a party and was walking back to her dormitory with three students, one of which was 19-year-old Paul Flores, reports edhat.
It is alleged that after promising to walk Kristin home safely, Paul Flores abducted and killed her while in the act of raping Kristin or attempting to.
Rueben Flores allegedly helped conceal Kristin’s body after she was murdered according to District Attorney Dan Dow.
According to Sky News, the breakthrough came after a search last month of Ruben Flores’s home using ground radar and specially trained dogs found new evidence linked to the suspected killing.
Millions of downloads of the hit true crime podcast “Your Own Backyard” also led to potential leads, it’s been reported.
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San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson confirmed that there is still no sign of Kristin’s body though.
DA Dow said: “These charges mark a major milestone. Today, we make the first move toward bringing justice to Kristin, her family, and the people of San Luis Obispo County.”
Paul Flores was arrested for the murder of Kristin Smart around 7.30am on Tuesday in San Pedro and his father Ruben Flores, was arrested at the same time in Arroyo Grande.
The family of Kristin Smart released a statement following the Sheriff’s announcement: “For over twenty-four years, we have waited for this bittersweet day.
“It is impossible to put into words what this day means for our family; we pray it is the first step to bringing our daughter home. While Kristin’s loving spirit will always live in our hearts, our life without her hugs, laughs and smiles is a heartache that never abates.
“The knowledge that a father and son, despite our desperate pleas for help, could have withheld this horrible secret for nearly 25 years, denying us the chance to lay our daughter to rest, is an unrelenting and unforgiving pain.”
The family praised the authorities for their relentless pursuit for justice, and added: “Kristin’s story is ultimately one of unwavering commitment, resilience and immense gratitude.”