The detective who led the investigation into the disappearance of the University of Illinois junior in 2004 testified that, when her body was discovered in an abandoned quarry in southern Illinois nearly two months later, she appeared to have suffered trauma in the area of her right forearm, leg, and abdomen.
A Colorado detective who helped search for the remains of eight-year-old Kristin Smart testified Thursday about an unusual discovery in a wooded area of eastern Colorado. The detective, who testified in front of a judge, said after two years of searching the area, he found suspicious stains of red paint on the dirt.
In the summer of 2010, a young man named Kristin Smart vanished during a hiking trip through the Santa Cruz mountains. The police searched the area for weeks, finding nothing, but a few months later a local woman was hiking in the same area and stumbled across a human skull in a wooded area.
Law enforcement also provided material to podcaster Chris Lambert, according to the detective, while the Flores family was wiretapped.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — On Wednesday, Sept. 1, on the 16th day of the hearing for Paul (44) and Ruben (80) Flores, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Detective Clinton Cole proceeded to testify.
Kristin Smart, a 19-year-old Cal Poly student, was abducted and murdered in 1996, and her father and son have been charged with her murder. Ruben has been charged with accessory after the fact, while Paul has been charged with her murder.
In April, both guys were apprehended. Ruben has been released on bond, while Paul is still being held without bail at the San Luis Obispo County prison.
We’re going to get through this together, Atascadero
Kristin’s body was never discovered, although she was officially pronounced dead in 2002.
Det. Cole took the stand to explain why they think Ruben’s house on White Court in Arroyo Grande was the scene of a crime.
He spoke about evidence found during searches of the property in April 2021, such as abnormalities in the backyard and a 4-foot deep hole beneath the deck containing fibers and suspected soil stains linked to human remains.
Det. Cole then testified that a witness noticed suspicious behavior at Ruben’s home on March 9, 2020. Paul’s mother, Susan Flores, and her boyfriend, Mike McConville, were said to be there when a trailer was parked there at strange hours.
This event is said to have occurred after the execution of a search warrant in February 2020.
A warrant to search the trailer was served in 2020, according to Det. Cole’s testimony on Wednesday. After spraying the interior with a chemical designed to identify biological fluids, the search found a stain “identical” to a human body. The chemicals showed a “strange” response within one of the trailer’s doors in particular.
Bluestar, a forensic chemical used to quickly test for the presence of blood, was employed by Det. Cole, according to him. He went on to say that the chemical may potentially be used to identify cleaning agents.
Det. Cole also testified that the Flores family’s phone was wiretapped for 30 days beginning January 5, 2020.
He also claimed that law enforcement told Chris Lambert of the “Your Own Backyard” podcast that they had Paul’s white Nissan truck in their hands. He said that he did this so Lambert could use the material in his podcast during the wiretap.
Det. Cole also spoke about his November 2019 interview with witness Jennifer Hudson.
Hudson earlier testified at the preliminary hearing that she overheard Paul Flores use a disparaging word to refer to Kristin Smart while hanging out with a group of skateboarders in San Luis Obispo in 1996 and remark, “I’m done playing with her, and I threw her out below my ramp in Huasna.”
She said she didn’t inform law enforcement until she spoke with Det. Cole in 2019.
Det. Cole was questioned by Paul’s defense counsel, Robert Sanger, about suspected improper contact with Hudson.
Sanger interrogates Det. Cole about inconsistencies in his notes, claiming that text messages were erased from the smartphone program WhatsApp.
Sanger inquired whether Cole had an improper phone call with Hudson after he had had alcohol. Sanger then inquired as to whether Det. Cole had phoned Husdon late at night after he had consumed alcohol.
Det. Cole said he couldn’t remember but that it’s conceivable they spoke, but he doubts it since he gets terrible cell coverage at his home.
Edward Chadwell was also called to testify on Wednesday. In 1991, he constructed Ruben and Susan Flores a house on White Court.
Prosecutor Chris Peuvrelle inquired whether he discovered the remains of any monkeys, ferrets, or human corpses on the premises. No, Chadwell said.
On Thursday, Sept. 2, the preliminary hearing will resume at 9:00 a.m.
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