Kristin Smart case: New search warrant served at home of suspect's father

A new search warrant has been served in the 1996 disappearance of California college student Kristin Smart.

The warrant was executed at the Arroyo Grande, California, home of Ruben Flores, the father of the “prime suspect” in Smart’s disappearance, Paul Flores, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said on Monday.

Authorities have been authorized to use cadaver dogs and ground-penetrating radar in the search, which they said could take one to two days to complete, officials said.

Smart, a 19-year-old freshman at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo disappeared in the early hours of May 25, 1996, after a party near school.

PHOTO: Photo released by the FBI shows Kristin Smart, the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo student who disappeared in 1996. Smart was last seen in May 1996, while returning to her dorm after an off-campus party.

Paul Flores was Smart’s classmate and one of the last people to see her.

Smart’s family said in a statement Monday: “We are encouraged by the news of today’s search of Ruben Flores’ property. We appreciate the vigilance and professionalism of Sheriff Ian Parkinson and his department and our family looks forward to learning more in the hours and days ahead.”

Ruben Flores’ home has been blocked off with sheriff’s office tape.

PHOTO: In connection with the the Kristin Smart case, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office is searching a property in Arroyo Grande belonging to prime suspect Paul Flores'father.

The search warrant has been sealed, and the sheriff’s department declined to comment further.

ABC News’ Sabina Ghebremedhin contributed to this report.

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