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Deputies Declare Missing Fox Executive Dead 2 Years Later

Gavin Smith (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department)
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Two years after 20th Century Fox Executive Gavin Smith disappeared without a trace, the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. has officially declared him dead.And homicide charges could soon be made against John Creech, who is linked to the storage facility where Smith's missing car was found and whose wife allegedly had an affair with Smith, according to NBC Los Angeles. Creech is already behind bars on an unrelated drug charge.

Smith, a 57-year-old San Fernando Valley native, was last seen on the night of May 1, 2012, leaving a colleague's home in Oak Park. Smith was reportedly crashing with his friend during marital difficulties with his wife, Lisa, with whom he had three sons. He was reported missing when he did not show up to pick up one of his children for school in the morning.

Smith had worked as an actor before becoming an entertainment industry executive. At the time of his disappearance, he was working in Calabasas as a regional branch manager for Fox Theaters in Dallas and Oklahoma City.

On the night Smith went missing, he returned from a work conference in Las Vegas to the home of his friend on Kellwood Court. He spoke to his wife earlier that day on the phone to arrange picking up his son, then watched television with his friend until 9 p.m. About an hour after his friend went to bed, Smith was seen leaving the house in his Mercedes-Benz wearing pajama pants. He left behind most of his personal belongings. Neither he nor the car could be found, and alleged sightings of Smith led to dead ends.

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In June 2012, a SWAT team searched the Canoga Park home of John and Chandrika Creech and rumors circulated that Smith had met Chandrika in therapy and had an affair with her. Lisa later confirmed this affair as well as another with a younger woman she identified as “Melanie,” and cited his infidelity as the reason she kicked him out of the house and why he was staying with his colleague.

John Creech was subsequently sentenced to eight years in prison on drug charges, but was not charged with Smith's disappearance.

In January 2013, authorities confiscated a Hummer H2 belonging to Creech in a grow house drug bust, which led them to Smith's car, stowed in a storage facility linked to Creech in Simi Valley. Biological evidence found there led investigators to declare Smith officially dead, and that he died the same night he disappeared.