A young woman vanishes from a college campus.
Eighteen year-old April Gregory and 19 year-old Kristin Smart never met. They were enrolled at different universities on opposite ends of the country. Yet within the same five hour period, they were both vanished with no warning and no explanation.
April Gregory took her schoolwork at Syracuse University very seriously. When she finished her freshman year, she immediately enrolled in the summer session. At 11:45 P.M., on May 24, 1996, April’s brother, Lamar, dropped her off at her dorm:
April walked up the steps, entered the doors under the watchful eyes of dorm officials, and went to her seventh floor room, then was never seen again. A short time later, police searched April’s room. They discovered that when she disappeared, she hadn’t finished unpacking. And in the closet, only one clue: her work uniform was missing. But April never arrived at work. April’s father, Herman, knew it could only be bad news:
At almost the same moment that April Gregory disappeared, another young woman mysteriously vanished 3,000 miles away. Nineteen year-old Kristin Smart was a freshman at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo. About the time April should’ve been heading to work in New York, Kristin was returning to her dorm after a party. She wasn’t alone. Nineteen-year old Paul Flores was also a freshman at Cal Poly. He had offered to walk Kristin home after the party. An eyewitness saw Paul and Kristin on a street corner. Paul told police that Kristin went to her dorm, and he crossed the street to his. Denise Smart is Kristen’s mother:
Police and volunteers searched the campus for Kristin, but they didn’t find a clue. Then cadaver search dogs were taken through the dorms. According to Det. Sgt. Peter R. Bayer of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s office, the dogs earned their pay:
That male subject was Paul Flores. Det. Bayer said that authorities became suspicious of Flores’ statement that he and Kristin had gone home separately:
Kristen’s mother Denise has not given up hope of finding Kristen alive. But she’s not optimistic:
April Gregory’s father is haunted by his daughter’s disappearance:
In November of 1997, more than a year after she vanished, April Gregory’s former boyfriend was charged with her murder. Police claim that Terrance Evans killed April after an argument, dismembered her body, and then hid part of it in his house. The jury convicted Evans of second-degree murder. He is serving 25 years to life in prison.
In April of 2021, Paul Flores was arrested in connection with Kristin Smart’s disappearance, booked for a single charge of murder. His father, Reuben Flores, has also been arrested on a single charge of being an accessory after the fact. On October 18th, 2022, Paul Flores was found guilty of murder in the first degree. His father, Ruben Flores, was found not guilty. Sentencing will begin in December.