Gavin Smith Case: Convicted Drug Dealer John Creech Charged With Murder in Death of Fox Executive

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Gavin Smith's remains were located on Oct. 26, more than 2 years after he went missing.

More than three months after his remains were found in a remote part of the Antelope Valley, Gavin Smith’s death resulted in a murder charge Thursday.

Convicted drug dealer John Creech was charged in the killing of Smith, a 57-year-old Fox executive and former UCLA basketball player who went missing in May 2012, prompting a long-running investigation.

Creech, 42, was charged with murder, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. He was expected to be arraigned Monday in downtown Los Angeles.

Posters of Gavin Smith were on display during a Sheriff's Department news conference in November 2014. (Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Posters of Gavin Smith were on display during a Sheriff’s Department news conference in November 2014. (Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Smith’s family pleaded for help finding him after he disappeared in May 2012. Then, in February 2013, Smith’s Mercedes-Benz SUV was found in a Simi Valley storage unit tied to Creech, and the missing person investigation changes to a homicide case.

At that time, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Smith had an unspecified relationship with Creech’s wife.

Creech is currently serving an eight-year sentence in a Los Angeles County jail on unrelated drug charges. He pleaded no contest to the sale or transportation for sale of a controlled substance in September 2012.

He faces 25 years to life in state prison if convicted of murder, the DA’s office said.

Smith’s body was discovered Oct. 26 in a shallow grave by hikers in a rural area between Palmdale and Acton. About two weeks later, a Sheriff’s Department lieutenant said detectives knew “how and why” Smith was killed.

He had last been seen on the night of May 1, 2012, leaving a friend’s house in Oak Park, in Ventura County.

Creech was accused of killing Smith on May 2, according to the DA’s office.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that authorities believed Creech had a relationship with Smith’s wife. In fact, officials have said Smith had an unspecified relationship with Creech’s wife. The story has been updated.