Dog trainer says his dead dog went to Paul Flores’ bed after 1996

In the Weeks after the student disappeared in 1996, a dog handler testified that his cadaver dog headed straight for the bed in suspect Paul Flores’ dorm room.

The trial for the murder and disappearance of Kristin Smart, a 19-year-old student at California Polytechnic State University who was last seen with Paul Flores, 45, and her 81-year-old father Ruben, is ongoing .

Dog handler Adela Morris spoke in court Monday in Monterey County after being called in to help with the police investigation in the weeks following Smart’s disappearance.

The border collie search dog “immediately made a U-turn” and “became extremely systematic and slow”, according to the witness who testified in court, when she dropped K9 Cholla at Santa Lucia Hall. He then sought to enter room 128 – Paul Flores’ room.

Morris said Cholla alerted her master by jumping on her hip as soon as she entered the room, “very focused” and “obviously on the scent”, with her attention only on the left side of the space, where Flores slept.

I had no doubt that she delivered her alert – which is a very powerful alert – that she provides when she locates human remains, Morris added. She was pretty clear.

More than 20 years after Smart’s last sighting, Paul Flores is now on trial for his murder and disappearance.

Due to allegations that he helped his son cover up Smart’s corpse, his father is accused of being an accomplice after the fact.

Four months is the expected duration of the trial.

Morris said in court Monday that she and Cholla were asked to participate in the “very extensive search” at Cal Poly that was conducted after Smart’s disappearance.

They first checked the tanks near the school before moving on to the Santa Lucia dormitory.

The search was carried out in the dark, so neither the handlers nor the search team were informed of the previous searches or their findings.

We just have the dog’s nose because we want to search in the dark, she noticed. She went on to say that she later learned that the dorms had already been reviewed by another manager.

Morris said she left Cholla off-leash during her search in the residents’ hall so she could search for her target scent.

Cholla then rushed down the hallway, “very instantly” made a U-turn and began to focus three-quarters of the way down the hallway.

Morris observed, “She practically puts her nose around doorknobs and gaps.” She ran towards me to jump on me after reaching one of the doors, alerting me that she had found the source of the stench of her target’s human remains.

Morris told the court the dog then took him to room 128 and started knocking on the door.

Paul Flores slept in room 128.

The dog became “very focused” and “obviously on scent” when Morris, the dog and another officer entered the room, according to Morris.

Paul Flores slept on the left side of the bed, where Cholla sounded the alarm.

She expressed her opinion with great fervor and eloquence. She remarked, “She was really clear.”

Although the usual alarm was at her thighs, Morris said Cholla warned her by jumping on her hip.

The dog was only interested in the left side of the room, despite her best efforts to make him look to the right. Morris said, “When she jumped harder and higher, she really wanted to communicate.”

Paul and Kristin were both freshmen at Cal Poly in 1996 when she disappeared.  He was staying at Santa Maria Hall and she was at Muir Hall, 0.2 miles apart - a four minute walk

This is a very categorical warning: “She would physically use my body to bounce, push.”

Morris said that although the dog kept sniffing and waking him up a dozen times, he never seemed to focus on any particular area of ​​the bed.

The two left the room to check other locations, but Morris said Cholla did not alert any dorms or additional locations.

Morris confirmed she was pro bono and unpaid when defense attorney Robert Sanger asked her about it Monday during cross-examination.

He also asked her about a letter she had sent to another K9 professional, whom she said she wanted advice on how to answer investigators’ questions.

Paul Flores listens during opening statements at his July murder trial in Monterey County Superior Court in Salinas, California.  He is accused of killing Kristin Smart in 1996

The way I write the story is more factual: “I did this, the dog did that,” Morris told Sanger. I don’t think so.

The trial will likely focus on the unsolved riddle of Smart’s disappearance from the scenic campus nestled against a lush coastal mountain range since his remains were never discovered. In 2002, she was declared deceased.

The 19-year-old was allegedly killed by Paul Flores on May 25, 1996, during an attempted rape in the freshman dormitory at Cal Poly, the prosecution alleges.

Ruben Flores, father of Paul Flores, sits in court Monday, August 2, 2021, in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

His father, who is now 81, reportedly helped with the student’s burial in the adjacent Arroyo Grande neighborhood, dug up the body and then moved it.

Although Paul Flores was suspected of the murder for some time, the prosecution did not arrest him and his father until the case reopened in 2021.

San Luis Obispo Sheriff Ian Parkinson acknowledged the mistakes detectives have made over the years and credited “Your Own Backyard,” a well-known podcast about Smart’s kidnapping, with helping uncover many stories. new evidence and motivating witnesses to speak with the police.

Archaeologists working for the police discovered a coffin-sized ground disturbance and the presence of human blood in March 2021 under a trellis under the deck of his large house on a dead end street near Tally Ho Road, according to the accusation.

In February 2020, police executed a search warrant at Paul's home in San Pedro, Calif., and seized electronic devices containing homemade rape videos and pornography, prosecutors say.

Obtaining a DNA sample from the blood would have been impossible. Although a blood specialist confirmed that it was human blood, the test carried out could not completely rule out the idea that it came from a ferret or a monkey, even if court documents indicated that no traces of either species had been seen there.

James Murphy Jr., an attorney representing Smart’s parents in a lawsuit against father and son, laughed off the idea that it wasn’t human blood.

The extent of the area where the blood was discovered would indicate a dinosaur ferret, Murphy said.

Searches were conducted in February and March 2020 as part of the inquest into Smart's death

When was the last time a primate was seen traveling along Tally Ho Road in Arroyo Grande?

Four days after police raided Ruben Flores’ home in February 2020, according to Murphy’s complaint against him, the father and his accomplices transported the corpse “under cover of darkness”. Over a year later, investigators finally began digging under the bridge.

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