Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Is Missing Fox Exec in Central California, Headed North?

foxexec.png
Photo of Gavin Smith courtesy of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

The family of missing Fox executive Gavin Smith are still asking for the public's help in locating the man who has been missing since May 1. Now there's been report that he was spotted in Central California and may be headed north with a companion.A Madison, Wisconsin native in Morro Bay on business says he saw Smith, 57, on May 7, according to NBC Los Angeles. David Brill claims he's "almost certain" he spotted a man matching Smith's description, along with a female companion, at a local restaurant on Highway 1, the Taco Temple.

Brill says when he went online to check the news the next day he recognized Smith as someone he'd seen the previous evening. Additionally, a waitress at Taco Temple, Mary Carney, says she remembers the couple and talked to them about being from "down south" in California.

Carney adds that the couple seemed to indicate they'd be staying in Morro Bay for a few days, then might have been planning to head up north.

The couple paid cash for their meal at Taco Temple--a cash-only establishment--and authorities say Smith's credit cards have not been used since he's gone missing.

Support for LAist comes from

Smith was last seen late in the evening of May 1 leaving a friends house in his black 2000 Mercedes with a license plate numbered 6EKT044.

A story in The Daily Beast reveals that Smith was currently embroiled in personal turmoil centered around troubled family relationships. He was rumored to have been fighting with his wife, who recently became more religious, and not in frequent contact with his son. Additionally, the couple were allegedly experiencing financial hardship and "underwater" with their mortgage.

Chief of Detectives Bill McSweeney told The Daily Beast there hasn't been a lot to go on so far in the search for Smith: "We really just don’t know. A guy with an interesting life, and we don’t know if it will ever explain his disappearance. It is a big sad family situation.”

Brill says he contacted authorities in Los Angeles County after spotting who he thinks was Smith, but notes that as of the time he spoke with NBC Los Angeles, no one had returned his call.

His relatives have set up a website, FindGavinSmith.com to aid in the search.