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Missing Fox executive reportedly spotted in Morro Bay

May 24, 2012 |  9:41 am

A man says he spotted missing 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith this month at a Morro Bay restaurant.

David Bill, a Madison, Wis., native who frequently travels to the central California coast on business, told NBC4 he's "almost certain" he saw a man May 7 matching Smith's description with a woman at Taco Temple on Pacific Coast Highway.

"The next morning in the office, I noticed on the Yahoo main page that there was a news link to a missing Hollywood executive," he told the TV station. "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.' "

Smith, 57, was last seen driving away from a friend's house in the Oak Park area of Ventura County the night of May 1. His family reported him missing to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and organized several searches, but Smith has not been seen or heard from since.

Marcy Carney, a waitress at Taco Temple, said the couple at the restaurant told her they were from "down south" but planned to stay in Morro Bay for at least a few days.

“They were kind of quiet when they first came in and then once I got them talking, they seemed real friendly," Carney told the TV station. “They asked where they should have dinner tomorrow."

Brill said he contacted authorities shortly after he saw the man but had not heard back from detectives.

An L.A. County sheriff's spokesman told NBC4 that investigators would follow up on the tip. Authorities have said there was no evidence of foul play in the disappearance of Smith, who lives in West Hills and works in Calabasas.

Smith's family — which includes his three sons — worked to spread news of his disappearance via social media and the website findgavinsmith.com.

Smith is 6-feet-6, 210 pounds and has green eyes, gray hair with blond highlights and a goatee. He was last seen driving a black Mercedes-Benz 420E with tinted windows, a roof rack and California license plate 6EKT044.

Investigators ask anyone with information to call (323) 890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.


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Photo: Gavin Smith, 57, has been missing since the night of May 1. Credit: L.A. County Sheriff's Department