Crime & Justice

Missing Fox executive Gavin Smith's Mercedes found after a year; homicide suspected

Gavin Smith
Gavin Smith
NBC Los Angeles

Authorities say they've found the car of a 20th Century Fox executive who vanished nearly a year ago and they now believe he is dead.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says a Mercedes-Benz registered to Gavin Smith was found Thursday at a Simi Valley storage facility.

Authorities say that the storage facility was linked to a man who's jailed on an unrelated drug conviction.

A sheriff's statement says detectives are now investigating the case as a homicide, although Gavin's body hasn't been recovered.

The car was found Feb. 21 in a facility linked to John Creech, who's been in jail for a drug conviction, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said, according to the L.A. Times. The connection between Smith and Creech is unknown.

Whitmore also said that investigators had served several search warrants following finding Smith's car. When asked by the L.A. Times why his property was searched, Creech said, "I would love to tell you but I can't. I am told I cannot make any comments."

The 57-year-old Smith was last seen in May in Ventura County after leaving a friend's home.

Smith was with Fox's movie distribution department for nearly 18 years and was a branch manager for several theaters.