Women who grew up with Kristin Smart’s ghost prepare for an emotionally triggering trial

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San Luis Obispo residents attend a candlelight vigil in April, after Paul and Ruben Flores’ arrest. Photo by Rick Evans.

The disappearance of Kristin Smart in San Luis Obispo has gone unsolved for 25 years, and among those demanding justice are local women who grew up following her case. As the prime suspect, Paul Flores, awaits trial, many women continue to unpack the ways her disappearance impacted their childhoods and personal experiences with sexual violence.