David Karp was just a kid when he worked with Paul Flores at the Union 76 station.
For whatever reason, one day shortly after Kristin vanished, Paul approached David at work and started telling him what happened the night Kristin vanished.
He told David his version and David was understandably shocked. He did the right thing. He shared what Paul told him to his much older co-worker, Steve Moldts. the lead mechanic at Union 76.
Steve called the Sheriff's Department and they never returned his call.
Essentially - David told Steve that Paul says he did not kill Kristin, that Kristin asphyxiated on her own vomit and died. Paul never did tell David where he hid Kristin.
About 2002, 7 years later, I found out about this lead and met with Steve at his home in Nipomo. I also called Undersheriff Steve Bolts to let him know about this lead. He told me that was the first he heard about it so someone at the Sheriff's Department dropped the ball back in 1996 and never passed the information along to the right person.
Two things I want to drive home so that the reader understands in a crystal clear way:
Steve Moldts, the mechanic, went out of his way over and over to assure me that 'David Karp' was a good man and was only doing the right thing. I believe him.
I was able to speak with David and he agreed to speak with Mrs. Smart that same evening. But here's the thing: David did in fact speak with Mrs. Smart on the phone (that same evening) but when he did, David told Denise "I was very young back then, it was a traumatic experience for me and I unfortunately 'blocked' everything out."
For a mother looking for her lost child, this was difficult to hear.