The Latest | Southern California breaking news and trends
Crime & Justice

Witnesses claim to have seen missing Fox movie executive Gavin Smith in Morro Bay restaurant

Gavin Smith
Gavin Smith

Missing Fox movie executive Gavin Smith may actually want to be missing, if reports coming out of a central coast seaside town are true.

According to KNBC, which has an exclusive on the story, unverified accounts from people in Morro Bay indicate that Smith was seen there on May 7 -- about a week after he went missing -- with a lady friend in tow.

One man named David Brill who was there on business told KNBC that he thinks he saw Smith -- the former basketball star stands out for his light features and 6-foot-6 build -- at the Taco Temple, a restaurant on the Pacific Coast Highway.

The next morning, Brill told reporters, he noticed a story about the disappearance of Gavin Smith. “I happened to click on the link, saw the photo, and said, ‘Oh boy, that’s the guy I saw in the restaurant the previous night,’” he said.

Marcy Carney, a waitress at the Taco Temple, backs up the claim, telling KNBC that she waited on the couple -- a tall woman and a very tall man matching Smith’s description -- on the night of May 7.

They told her of plans to hang around the area for a bit, Carney said, and after that, “I’m pretty sure they said they were headed up north.”

Authorities say Smith, a 57-year-old movie exec out of Fox’s Calabasas office, was last seen at his friend’s residence in the Oak Park area between 9 and 10 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1. He drove away in his car -- a black Mercedes 420E sedan with storage racks, tinted windows and license plate No. 6EKT044 -- and has not been heard from since.

Smith is described as 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds, with grey-blond hair, green eyes and a goatee. He was last seen wearing purple pants and black-and-grey shoes.

His family, believing something is wrong, has publicly pleaded for his return and has even started a website to help in the search called Find Gavin Smith.

Smith has worked in Fox’s movie distribution division for more than 18 years. He was a member of UCLA’s 1975 national championship men’s basketball team, and his son Evan now plays for USC.

Brill told KNBC he contacted authorities with his tip but has not yet heard back. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department says it plans to follow up on all leads and is still pursuing the case.

Anyone with information on Smith’s whereabouts is asked to call sheriff’s detectives at (323) 890-5500. Tipsters may also call (800) 222-8477.