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Mystery deepens in disappearance of Hollywood exec Gavin Smith

Ten days after a 20th Century Fox executive vanished from a friend's home west of the San Fernando Valley, questions continued to surround Gavin Smith's disappearance.

The 57-year-old, who works in distributon for Fox, was reported missing by his family May 1 after he failed to pick up one of his sons for school.

His family declined to say why Smith was staying at a friend's house, but on Thursday, E! News reported that Smith’s eldest son, Evan, said last month his father had left the family.

"Thoughts and prayers out to my amazing Mom and bros plz," the USC basketball player wrote in an April 14 message, according to E! "My dad decided to leave the family last nite. Real family sticks together."

The tweet has since been deleted, but Evan Smith told E! his parents were not separated.

“They were just going through normal stuff couples go through,” he said.

Evan Smith told The Times on Thursday morning that his family was “devastated” by his father’s disappearance.

“We’re staying strong as a family unit,” he said. “We’re praying and hoping for the best. It’s all in God’s hands.”

Authorities said that for now the disappearance remains classified as a missing persons case.

“It’s an adult missing persons case, not a homicide,” said sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Lt. Wes Sutton, noting that missing persons investigators are assigned within his bureau. “At this point, there’s nothing criminal [related] to his disappearance.”

Sutton said the department has added extra resources to the investigation, but there is still “nothing substantial” in the way of significant clues to solve the mystery of what happened to the movie executive.

Sutton said information on Smith has been distributed within the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and that his vehicle information has been included in a missing vehicle database should another police agency find it.

In addition, sheriff’s officials have distributed fliers and embarked on a campaign through the media to reach out to the public for help.

“We’re getting lots of tips,” Sutton said.

Gavin Smith is 6-foot-6, weighs 210 pounds, has gray hair streaked with blond and has a goatee. He was last seen in his black 2000 Mercedes 420-E with California license plate 6EKT044. He was wearing purple pants.

Investigators ask anyone with information to call detectives at (323) 890-5500.

ALSO:

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— Kate Mather (twitter.com/katemather) and Andrew Blankstein (twitter.com/anblanx)

Evan Smith told The Times Thursday morning that his family was “devastated” by his father’s disappearance.

“We’re staying strong as a family unit,” he said. “We’re praying and hoping for the best. It’s all in God’s hands.”

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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