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Hikers Discover Body Of Fox Exec Who Went Missing Two Years Ago [UPDATED]
More than two years after a 20th Century Fox Executive went missing, hikers in the Angeles National Forest discovered his body in a shallow grave.Gavin Smith, who was 57 when he went missing, was discovered in a rural area of Palmdale Oct. 26 by hikers, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. That's about 60 miles northeast of Simi Valley where he was last seen. The coroner's office has positively identified Smith, though his autopsy and cause of death have not been finalized.
The Antelope Valley Press (via NBC Los Angeles) reports that a family discovered a skull in a shallow grave and clothing while hiking in the area near Acton (and this is apparently a photo of it).
Smith, an executive for 20th Century Fox who lived in Calabasas, was last seen on the night of May 1, 2012. He had been staying with a friend because he had been experiencing marital difficulties with his wife Lisa. Two years later on May 1, 2014, he was officially declared dead by law enforcement, who said they had enough evidence to prove that he had been killed.
The main person of interest in the case is John Creech, a drug dealer who is serving an 8-year prison sentence on unrelated charges. Smith was reportedly having an affair with his wife Chandrika Creech, who he had met in rehab. Creech was a person of interest in the case before Smith's Mercedes turned up in Creech's storage facility nine months after it had disappeared along with Smith. The biological evidence that investigators found there plus witness statements led them to declare Smith dead.
UPDATE 11:50 a.m.: Anonymous investigators on the Smith case told the Los Angeles Times that they believe that an individual put out a hit for Smith, and many others who were experience in violent crime helped carry out the murder. They're still not sure how Smith died but at a press conference, investigators offered more details about the case:
#LASD Lt. Dolson on Gavin Smith's Mercedes Benz: "There is evidence in the car that indicated he was killed in the car."— Kate Mather (@katemather) November 6, 2014
#LASD Lt. Dolson: "There's indications there was some trauma," to Gavin Smith's body.— Kate Mather (@katemather) November 6, 2014
#LASD Lt. Dolson says detectives know the "how and the way" of Gavin Smith's murder; says finding remains "does put us closer" to arrest.— Kate Mather (@katemather) November 6, 2014
There still isn't a suspect in the case:
#LASD Lt. Dave Dolson says John Creech remains person of interest in Gavin Smith case. "We're not calling anybody a suspect at this point."— Kate Mather (@katemather) November 6, 2014
Deputies Declare Missing Fox Executive Dead 2 Years Later
Car Of Missing Fox Executive Turns Up 9 Months After His Disappearance, Authorities Suspect Homicide
SWAT Team Searches Home In Connection With Gavin Smith Case
More Gavin Smith coverage
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