Court heard testimony from another dog handler on Monday

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The preliminary hearing for Paul (44) and Ruben (80) Flores picked up again on Monday, Aug. 30.

The father and son are charged in connection with the 1996 disappearance and murder of 19-year-old Cal Poly student Kristin Smart. Paul has been charged with her murder, and Ruben is being charged with accessory after the fact.

Both men were arrested in April. Ruben is out on bail, but Paul remains in the San Luis Obispo County jail with no bail.


Kristin’s remains have never been found, but she was declared legally dead in 2002.

Court heard from one witness on Monday, a dog handler named Gail LaRoque. She arrived with Adela Morris to search Paul Flores’s dorm room in 1996.

Morris testified earlier in the preliminary hearing saying her dogs Cholla and Cirque made alerts to Paul’s room.

Similar to Morris, LaRoque knew Kristin Smart was missing but knew no other details on the case. Laroque’s dog Torrey was also certified in human remains detection by the California Rescue Dog Association and had about 200 searches in her career.

According to LaRoque, Torrey focused heavily on scents on Paul’s side of the dorm room. She alerted to Paul’s trash can. Torrey then alerted to Paul’s bed frame.

LaRoque explained part of being a handler is you learn your dog’s behaviors and what they mean.

According to LaRoque, police placed Paul’s trash can and two identical trash cans in the hallway. Torrey again alerted to Paul’s trash can.

Following a closed session Monday morning, it was announced that ‘Your Own Backyard’ podcaster Chris Lambert’s objection to his subpoena would be heard on Sept. 7.

The hearing is now expected to extend into at least next week.

The preliminary hearing continues Tuesday, Aug. 31 at 9 a.m. in Department 5 of the San Luis Obispo County Courthouse.