More grisly details were revealed today in the death of the former Fox exec who disappeared more than two years ago. “There was evidence in the car that indicated he was killed in the car,” L.A. County Sheriff’s Lt. David Dolson said today, one day after it was confirmed that Gavin Smith’s body was found last week. The 57-year-old Smith went missing on the evening of May 1, 2012. The greatly deteriorated body of the former college basketball player was discovered on October 26 in “a shallow grave” by hikers in Angeles National Forest, Dolson confirmed at a press conference Thursday. Lt/ Dolson said that the police did not think Smith was shot when he was killed. “Whatever happened here, it looks more and more like it was an attempt at least to make sure no one ever found the deceased,” a law enforcement source with knowledge of the case also told Deadline today. That source also said it was yet to be determined by police or the coroner’s office if Smith was killed by one person or more.
The case of the nearly 20-year vet of 20th Century Fox was declared a homicide in March 2013 after Smith’s black Mercedes 420E was found that February in a Simi Valley, CA storage locker. That locker belonged to John Creech, who, though currently in custody on an 8-year unrelated drug sentence, was declared the person of interest in the case. Creech was not behind bars when Smith disappeared and it was known that he and his wife knew the exec. Smith was officially declared dead in May 2013.
While an autopsy is in process, Dolson added today that the remains of Smith’s body showed signs of trauma. “The investigation at this time is ongoing,” Dolson noted of where things stand now and that no one has been arrested in the case. “Because of the discovery of Gavin’s remains, there’s potentially a lot more evidence for us to process, which could develop additional leads, which we’ll have to follow up on.”