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Missing Fox Exec Gavin Smith's Car Found; Case Now Homicide

Storage facility where Mercedes Benz was discovered linked to person of interest, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

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    Gavin Smith's disappearance is now a being investigated as a homicide, police announced on Thursday, 10 months after he was reported missing. The car in which Smith was last seen was found in a Simi Valley storage unit. Patrick Healy reports from Simi Valley for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on March 14, 2013. (Published Thursday, Mar 14, 2013)

    The discovery of a Mercedes driven by a missing Fox executive when he disappeared 10 months ago has led police to reclassify the case as a homicide and link it to a drug dealer previously identified as a person of interest.

    A black Mercedes Benz 420E registered to Gavin Smith was recovered at a storage facility in Simi Valley on Feb. 21, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced Thursday.

    Drug Bust Provides Lead in Case of Missing Fox Exec

    [LA] Drug Bust Provides Lead in Case of Missing Fox Exec
    The unexpected discovery of a Hummer that had been sought for months could provide a lead in the search for Gavin Smith, a Fox executive and former UCLA basketball player who went missing in May 2012. Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2013. (Published Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013)

    Smith, 57, was last seen driving the car from a friend's home in the Oak Park area at the western end of Los Angeles on May 1 between 9 and 10 p.m.

    Investigators believe Smith was murdered within a week of his disappearance. His body has not been recovered.

    Chatsworth Home Searched in Relation to Gavin Smith Disappearance

    [LA] Chatsworth Home Searched in Relation to Gavin Smith Disappearance
    The Los Angeles County Sheriff Department served a search warrant on a Chatsworth home Friday in connection with the disappearance of 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Chatsworth and Robert Kovacik reports from Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 8, 2012 (Published Friday, Jun 8, 2012)

    "The family of Gavin Smith is grateful to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for its unending work on his disappearance," said Smith's widow Lisa in a statement. "We are both saddened and heartened by the discovery of this crucial evidence, and know that the sheriff's department will help us acquire a measure of justice."

    The storage facility has been linked to John Creech, who is currently in custody at Men's Central Jail on an unrelated narcotics conviction, detectives said.

    Creech was previously named a person of interest in the case, and his home was searched on June 8, 2012. Creech has not been charged in Smith's disappearance.

    A member of a championship UCLA basketball team in 1975, Smith worked in media distribution for Fox. He also struggled with substance abuse.

    Smith met Creech's wife, Chandrika, in rehab, authorities said.

    Anyone with information about the case was asked to call homicide detectives.

    "They specifically want to know if anybody saw this Mercedes Benz go from Porter Ranch to Simi Valley around May 8, May 9," department spokesman Steve Whitmore said.