'America's Most Wanted' to Air Feature on Missing Fox Exec Gavin Smith
UPDATED: The venerable crime-news program is working on the piece, which will air Oct. 12, with cooperation from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
America’s Most Wanted will air a feature on missing 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith, a producer for the show tells The Hollywood Reporter.
The episode of Lifetime's venerable crime news program will air Oct. 12. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which has revealed little about its investigation, is participating in the making of the feature, according to Angeline Hartmann, who is producing the roughly four-minute segment for AMW.
“The sheriff's office has not really spoken out in detail publicly about this case, but the good news is we are dealing directly with the investigators assigned to the case — they are ready to talk a little bit more about it,” says Hartmann, adding that AMW is still conducting interviews and researching the disappearance of the studio exec.
Smith, 18-year veteran of Fox's distribution department, was last seen on the night of May 1 at a friend's residence in Oak Park, a Ventura County community not far from his Calabasas office. He departed from the property in his black Mercedes-Benz E420 sedan between 9 and 10 p.m.. The 6-foot-6 Smith, 57, who played basketball for UCLA during the mid-1970s, was last seen wearing purple pants and black and gray shoes.
"We are talking to everybody," says Hartmann. "We are trying to get whoever we can, whoever is pertinent."
The case appeared to take a dramatic turn June 8, when authorities searched the residence of Chandrika Creech, a woman with whom Smith is alleged to have had an affair, and her husband, John Creech, an admitted middleman in Los Angeles' illicit-drug world. Investigators and a SWAT team swooped into the West Hills house where the Creeches reside, searching it for several hours and leaving with boxes, a computer and a black Audi Q7 SUV in tow.
But no arrests were made, investigators have not said how the Creeches relate to the Smith case, and Smith never met John Creech, his attorney Daniel Teola told THR in early September. A June 21 E! News report that cited an unnamed source said that Smith had met Chandrika Creech in therapy in 2008 and began an on-and-off affair with her. (On Sept. 25, John Creech will be sentenced in a drug case that stems from a 2010 bust in Glendale. Teola, a criminal defense attorney, said Creech has admitted to police that he was a middleman between drug dealers and producers and pleaded no contest to one count of selling and transporting cocaine. He faces up to 10 years in prison.)
AMW, which began airing on Lifetime in 2011 after 23 seasons on Fox, has a long history of helping solve cases related to Hollywood. A November 2010 segment on the killing of veteran entertainment industry publicist Ronni Chasen resulted in a tip that led investigators to Harold Martin Smith, the man who authorities believe gunned Chasen down before killing himself.
Other Hollywood cases the John Walsh-hosted AMW has helped solve include the capturing of the killer of guitarist Dave Navarro's mother and the reuniting of rapper Bizzy Bone -- who had been kidnapped as a child -- with his mother.