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Weekend search for missing Fox executive Gavin Smith is canceled

May 17, 2012 |  9:14 am

Gavin SmithWithout a specific area to comb for missing 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith, volunteers have called off a search they had hoped to conduct this weekend.

Smith was last seen May 1. Since his disappearance, deputies and volunteers have combed the areas where he was last seen. Advertisements on local movie screens have asked for the public's help.

But there have been few clues or leads in his disappearance.

"After consultations between the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the Gavin Smith family, it has been decided that there will be NO search this weekend," family spokesman Howard Bragman said in a statement to the media. "There is not a specific area of defined interest to make this effort productive at this time."

"The family wishes me to express their gratitude for keeping Gavin in the news," Bragman added.

Sheriff's officials say they do not suspect foul play at this stage. 

Sheriff's Lt. Wes Sutton said the agency has received a lot of tips, but detectives still don't have a firm sense of what happened.

In recent interviews, Smith's family described some of the circumstances leading up to the night he vanished. Smith was staying with a friend near Ventura County's Oak Park neighborhood but drove away in his Mercedes between 9 and 10 p.m. without telling anyone, which the family said was unusual.

Wearing a pair of purple athletic pants belonging to one of his sons, Smith left behind his cellphone charger, shaving kit and other items.

"It doesn't sound like he was going anywhere," son Evan Smith told "Good Morning America."

Smith's family said he hasn't been to his Calabasas office since he disappeared. They declined to elaborate on why he was staying with the friend instead of at the family home in West Hills, but Evan Smith tweeted last month that his father had left the family.

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

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

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

Evan Smith told The Times his family was "devastated" by his father's disappearance but was "staying strong." They've created a website, findgavinsmith.com, to help coordinate search efforts.

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

Investigators are asking that anyone with information call (323) 890-5500.


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 -- Richard Winton


Photo: Gavin Smith  Credit: Gavin Smith family