Authorities have not found Smart’s body, Parkinson said, but have found forensic physical evidence that they “believe he is related to Kristin.”
The sheriff spoke to his family twice on Tuesday, he said.
“I think they’re feeling a little bit of relief, but as you can imagine until we hand Kristin back to them, it’s not over,” he told reporters. “We made a commitment to them not to stop until Kristen is well, whatever the cause, whatever the hour, we make a commitment.
“It is impossible to put into words what this day means for our family; we pray that this is the first step in bringing our daughter home,” the family said. “While Kristin’s loving spirit will always live on in our hearts, our life without her hugs, laughs and smiles is a heartbreak that never abates.”
“We are happy that Kristin’s case is now transferred to the district attorney’s office, where we know we will be in good hands, and we look forward to the day when there is ‘justice’ for Kristin,” he said. they stated.
The two suspects were placed in the San Luis Obispo County Jail, according to inmate files online.
Paul Flores, 44, has been convicted of murder, according to records. No deposit amount is indicated. Ruben Flores, 80, was listed on an ancillary charge and is being held on $ 250,000 bail.
The couple are expected to be arraigned on Thursday, although older Flores is eligible for bail. CNN has contacted lawyers for the two men.
District Attorney Dan Dow said his office was reviewing the case.
“We are carefully reviewing the evidence and will provide more information as it becomes available,” Dow said in a statement.
Authorities raided Ruben Flores’ home in Arroyo Grande last month.
“Additional evidence related to the Smart investigation was discovered at this time,” the sheriff said, without specifying what was found.
Smart was last seen near her dorm at California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly), but she never made it to her room, police said. Friends and family never heard from her again.
She did not have any additional identification, money or clothing when she went missing, police said. Smart was pronounced dead in 2002.
Last year, investigators searched Paul Flores’ home and said they found “objects of interest” on the property.
At that time, Flores was held at his home in San Pedro, Calif., And released at his home after the search, said at the time Tony Cipolla, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.
Massive search and repeated interviews with a student who was walking with her that night resulted in no break, and Smart was pronounced dead in 2002.
CNN’s Stella Chan and Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.
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