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

June 5, 2012 | 12:59 pm

Gavin SmithA $20,000 reward was offered Tuesday for information about missing Fox executive Gavin Smith, in an investigation officials said was wide open.

Flanked by photos of Smith, the 57-year-old's wife and three sons announced the reward at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department homicide bureau in the City of Commerce.

"We truly need assistance from the public. We need additional tips and we are hoping the public can provide them," said Smith's wife, Lisa. "We don't know where Gavin is."

The investigation into the whereabouts of the former UCLA basketball player remains a mystery more than a month after 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.

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

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 remain stumped as to where Smith could be.

Most leads have been exhausted, Lt. Dave Dolson said Tuesday, and investigators haven’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.”

The case remains a missing persons investigation.

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

Sources familiar with the investigation wonder if Smith's Mercedes could have gone over the side of one of the canyon roads in the area, making the vehicle exceedingly difficult to find.

Such was the case of missing Thousand Oaks computer entrepreneur Philip "Taylor" Kramer, the former bassist for the rock group Iron Butterfly who disappeared in February 1995. More than four years after Kramer was last seen, hikers found the 42-year-old's remains inside his van about 450 feet below Decker Canyon Road.

Carpinteria screenwriter Gary Devore was 55 when he disappeared on his way home from New Mexico in June 1997. Acting on a tip, divers recovered his Ford Explorer from the California Aqueduct in July of the following year. Devore was still at the wheel.

Officials later determined Devore was likely tired and accidentally drove his SUV into the aqueduct after entering a freeway exit ramp instead of an onramp.

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 Evan Smith 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.


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

Credit: Gavin Smith family