Recently, someone came forward to offer new information. Mr. John Jones (as we will call him) went to work as a teenager for Cal Poly and now 24ish years later, he is still working for Cal Poly.
He said he remembered seeing Paul Flores pushing a utility cart across campus with a trash can on top of it. He said he confronted Flores about what he was doing in the early morning hours with one of the utility carts that belonged to the university.
He said Paul told him he was just cleaning out his room. It was kind of odd, but then again, college kids stay up all night an party sometimes so it was not uncommon to see a student up in the early morning hours from midnight to five AM, doing all sorts of things.
It is believed that Paul Flores returned the cart and trash can several hours later.
The problem is the day in question. Mr. Jones originally seemed to be fairly firm on the date indicating that he confronted Paul Flores about the cart and trash can in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 25, 1996. This was the same day that Kristin Smart vanished from the Cal Poly campus.
Suddenly, Jonsey changed his mind, saying it may not have been on the same day Kristin disappeared …. it was on another day. Obviously, his value as a witness in court declined. Did someone get to Mr. Jones and told him he had better not remember the precise day.
Please pardon our cynicism. There is so much about the Kristin Smart disappearance that makes even the most trusting individual a complete cynic. Maybe it was just an innocent thing and it was Paul cleaning up his room maybe several days later when all the students were leaving campus for summer break. Who knows.
IS THE TRASH CAN RELATED
TO ANOTHER INCIDENT
Regardless of the precise day of the encounter between “Jones” and Paul Flores; was the trash can related to another bizarre incident?
When the Flores family rented out their home at 529 E. Branch St. to Joe and Mary Ann Lassiter about a month or so after Kristin disappeared, a curious thing began to happen.
Paul’s father, Ruben Flores came to the door and requested to have the trash can that was in the back on the patio. Joe Lassiter recalls that he seemed to be under the influence of something, probably alcohol.
Joe resisted because he didn’t want to go to the hardware store and buy a new trash can and he felt the trash can was part of the deal when he rented the house from the Flores family. Ruben went away but came back again.
This time Ruben was holding some towels in his hand with the logo of the professional football team the “Raiders.” Ruben had found out that Joe Lassiter was a Raiders fan and wanted to trade the towels for the trash can. After two or three times, as best as Joe could remember, he relented and told Ruben to go in the back and get the trash can if he wanted it so badly.
WHAT WAS SO IMPORTANT
ABOUT THIS PARTICULAR TRASH CAN?
Why did Ruben want that trash can so badly? Was it his favorite color of trash can? Not likely. Most of the trash cans before they had the automatic lifts on trucks hauling up the big plastic containers now were the typical 32 gallon galvanized cans. They came in different sizes with the 24 gallon and 32 gallon being most common.
Is it possible the trash can that Paul returned to the campus after he was allegedly done cleaning his dorm room, was it the trash can from the back of the Flores home. And was the trash can in back of the Flores home the one taken from Cal Poly? Did the trash can have clothing or bodily fluids that belonged to Kristin Smart? Is this why Ruben wanted the trash can so desperately?
We wanted to interview Mr. “Jones,” but just before conducting the interview, the sheriff’s department and/or Mrs. Smart wanted us to cancel our investigation. The Smarts continue to place their complete faith in the SLO sheriff’s department.
May 25, 2019, will be the 23rd anniversary of Kristin’s disappearance. And the saga continues.