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SALINAS, Calif. – A man convicted last year of murdering Kristin Smart in 1996 was sentenced Friday.

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Paul Flores, 46, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the murder of Smart, 19, in 1996. Flores and Smart both were students at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, The New York Times reported.

Flores received the maximum sentence, The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported.

Both Paul Flores and his father, Ruben Flores, 81, were arrested in 2021, according to KNBC.

Paul Flores became a “prime suspect” in 2021, according to the Times. His properties were searched with “ground-penetrating radar” and dogs for any possible human remains.

A grave was found under part of the deck of Ruben Flores’ house. According to the Times, the district attorney’s office said that Investigators believed that spot was at one point where Smart’s body was.

Paul Flores’ trial lasted three months and he was found guilty by a jury. Ruben Flores was found not guilty by a jury of helping his son hide Smart’s body, the newspaper reported.

Kristin Smart: Paul Flores convicted in ‘96 disappearance, murder of California college student

Smart went missing in 1996 following an off-campus party. KNBC reported that her body has never been located.

Smart was declared legally dead in 2002 by her family, according to the Times.

Paul Flores was the last person seen with Smart, KNBCreported. Witnesses told investigators that they saw Paul Flores walking Smart back to her dorm after the party. Prosecutors claimed that he killed her and had tried to rape her in his dorm.

During the early stages of the investigation, the Times reported that Paul Flores was a person of interest. Investigators searched his dorm and also had interviewed him.