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Valley home searched in Fox movie executive's disappearance

June 8, 2012 | 11:10 am

Gavin SmithAuthorities issued search warrants Friday on a San Fernando Valley home in connection with the disappearance of Fox movie executive Gavin Smith.

County homicide investigators served the warrant about 7:30 a.m. in the 8600 block Santa Susana Place three days after a $20,000 reward was offered Tuesday for information that could help solve the case.

Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore stressed that the case remains a missing persons case. "We have no information at this time that foul play was involved," he said.

"We were looking for information that could lead us to his whereabouts," Whitmore told The Times. "I cannot comment on specific details and the investigation is ongoing.

But one law enforcement source told The Times that serving a search warrant in a missing person case is highly unusual and that suggests the case is more complex than originally believed.

The investigation into the whereabouts of the former UCLA basketball player has been a mystery for more than a month since he left a friend’s home in Ventura County’s Oak Park neighborhood. Wearing purple athletic pants belonging to one of his sons, Smith drove away in his Mercedes the night of May 1, leaving behind his cellphone charger, shaving kit and other items.

Search teams have combed the areas where Smith was last seen, and his family spread word of his disappearance online and on local movie screens. But detectives have remained stumped as to where Smith could be.

Most leads have been exhausted, Lt. Dave Dolson said Tuesday, and investigators hadn’t received credible tips lately. A Wisconsin man reportedly saw Smith at a Morro Bay restaurant last month, but Dolson said the report proved “not to be a credible sighting.”

"Everything's on the table for us," Dolson said.

In interviews last month, Smith's family declined to elaborate on why he was staying with the friend instead of at the family home in West Hills, but Smith's son Evan had previously tweeted 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 was later deleted, but Evan Smith told E! News his parents were not separated and were “just going through normal stuff couples go through.”

Lisa Smith called her husband "the love of my life” on Tuesday.

"It's imperative we find him," she said.

Smith is 6-foot-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 the California license plate 6EKT044.

Investigators ask anyone with information about Smith to call (323) 890-5500.


New push to find missing Fox movie executive

Missing Fox executive's sons vow to search 'until we find him'

Missing Fox executive Gavin Smith's family offers $20,000 reward 

— Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Gavin Smith. Credit: Los Angeles Times