The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said they searched the Arroyo Grande home of Ruben Flores, the father of Paul Flores, around 7:30 a.m.
The sheriff’s office said it was authorized to use cadaver dogs and ground penetrating radar (GPR) during the course of the search – a process that could take up to two days to complete.
Traffic into the neighborhood was restricted to residents only. The sheriff’s office said it is precluded by law from disclosing any further details and will not be releasing additional information at this time.
The investigation is active and ongoing.
In a statement obtained by FOX 11, the Smart family said they are “encouraged by news of today’s search of Ruben Flores’ property.”
“We appreciate the vigilance and professionalism of Sheriff Ian Parkinson and his department and our family looks forward to learning more in the hours and days ahead,” the statement read.
Kristin Smart was a student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, when she vanished while walking home from a party in 1996. Paul Flores, who was also a student at the time, was seen with her, but he has never been arrested or charged.
Flores was arrested Feb. 11 on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. He posted his $35,000 bail and was released from custody later that evening.
Flores is due back in court on June 10. It was not immediately clear if he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report.
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