SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (KTLA) — Missing Fox executive Gavin Smith’s disappearance is now being investigated as a homicide, after his car was recovered at a Simi Valley storage facility.
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department announced on Thursday that it found Smith’s Mercedes-Benz last month at a storage facility linked to convicted drug dealer John Creech.
The condition of the car, along with information developed from the investigation, led authorities to believe Smith had been killed.
Smith’s body has not been found.
Creech, who is currently serving eight years in Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail, has been named a person of interest in the case.
Smith had a relationship with Creech’s wife, Chandrika Creech, sheriff’s officials said, but they would not comment on the nature of the relationship. The two apparently met in rehab.
Smith was last seen on the night of May 1, 2012 leaving a friend’s house in Oak Park.
When he failed to pick up one of his sons for school the next morning, his family reported him missing.
Authorities said a tip led investigators to the storage facility where Smith’s car was recovered. The locker wasn’t registered to Creech, but to someone close to him.
Creech was picked up in an February 2010 drug bust. Subsequent searches of his home and business yielded drugs, cash and other items.
Creech later to being a middle-man between drug producers and street dealers. He pleaded no contest last year to one count of selling and transporting cocaine.
His Hummer was found at a marijuana grow house back in January, and police searched the car in connection with the Smith case.
Creech’s West Hills home was also searched at least twice.
Authorities have said they do not think Smith was involved in any drug transactions.
Smith’s wife, Lisa, declined to comment to KTLA about what detectives have learned.
But she has told the Los Angeles Times that she suspected from the beginning that something horrible had happened to him, and that he wouldn’t just leave his family.
Smith was an executive in charge of distribution for Fox. He played basketball at UCLA, where he was part of the team that won the 1975 NCAA championship under coach John Wooden.