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Missing Fox executive Gavin Smith's family canvasses Sylmar area

July 8, 2012 | 11:18 am

GavinsmithFamily and friends of missing 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith spent Sunday morning passing out fliers in Sylmar as part of their latest push to find the 57-year-old.

Smith's wife, Lisa, told CBS-2 that volunteers were posting fliers showing Smith and his missing Mercedes based on information from detectives.

"We wanted to find out what we could do hands-on," she said. "Obviously we can't search for Gavin but they told us that we could put posters up. They directed us to a good area and this is it."

Smith's sister, Tara Addeo, told the television station that investigators said the last ping from her brother's cellphone came from the area.

"The police have led us specifically to this area," she said.

Smith, a former UCLA basketball player who works in Fox's movie distribution department, left a friend's home in Ventura County's Oak Park neighborhood the night of May 1. Wearing purple athletic pants belonging to one of his sons, Smith drove away in his Mercedes, leaving behind his cellphone charger, shaving kit and other items.

Smith's family — wife Lisa and sons Evan, Austin and Dylan — have offered a $20,000 reward for information about the missing executive. In interviews after his disappearance, they declined to elaborate on why Smith 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.”

Detectives have long emphasized that their probe of Smith's disappearance is a missing-person investigation and that there are few clues in the case.

But the tone of the investigation appeared, at least from the outside, to change June 8 when a SWAT team searched a West Hills home belonging to John and Chandrika Creech.

Chandrika Creech met Smith in therapy, according to a source familiar with the case who did not want to be named because the investigation is ongoing. John Creech is awaiting sentencing on a single count of selling and transporting drugs, and faces up to 10 years in state prison.

Authorities have not divulged how the Creeches relate to the Smith case. The cover pages of a sealed search warrant affidavit that referenced the address of the home, signed by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on May 21, said detectives had probable cause that an unspecified felony had been committed at the residence.

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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Gavin Smith: No arrests after SWAT team searches Canoga Park home

— Kate Mather


Credit: Gavin Smith family