The body of Gavin Smith, the veteran Fox distribution executive who went missing more than two years ago, has been found, a source in law enforcement tells Deadline. The body was found last week in Angeles National Forest, and Smith’s family has been informed. Smith, who won an NCAA basketball championship under Coach John Wooden at UCLA in 1975, was reported missing by his wife on the night of May 1, 2012.
He was last seen driving away from a friend’s home in Oak Park, CA, in a black Mercedes 420E. The car was found in February 2013 in a Simi Valley storage locker that was linked to John Creech, who is serving an eight-year prison sentence on drug charges. Authorities at the time searched the West Hills home of Creech and his wife more than once as part of the long-running investigation. Smith, who was 57 when he went missing, is said to have met Creech’s wife in rehab. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said at the time that Smith likely had been murdered. “Evidence in (the locker) and from other sources has led investigators in the case to preliminarily reclassify this as a homicide,” a Sheriff’s Department spokesman said at the time.
Smith was an 18-year veteran of 20th Century Fox who worked in its Calabasas office. His case was profiled on America’s Most Wanted in the fall of 2012. Authorities officially declared Smith dead six months ago.