Gavin Smith Mystery: Family Urges Public to Join Weekend Search for Missing Executive

4:18 PM PST 05/15/2012 by Daniel Miller
Gavin Smith

The searches are expected to be conducted this weekend in "remote areas," according to the family's crisis public relations counselor.

The family of missing 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith is asking the public to search for him this weekend, according to the Smiths' public relations counselor, Howard Bragman.

Smith was last seen on the night of May 1 at a friend's residence in Oak Park, an affluent Ventura County community. He departed from the property in his black Mercedes-Benz E420 sedan between 9 and 10 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which is overseeing the case. 

“The family is hopeful that people will be able to join us on our search this weekend," said Smith's sister, Tara Addeo, in a statement released to The Hollywood Reporter. "The love and support of so many has helped us immensely.”

The search, which will take place May 19-20 at the urging of the sheriff's department, will cover undisclosed "remote areas," according to Bragman. The family's adviser said authorities have yet to provide the Smiths with information on where the searches should take place. Members of Smith's family are expected to participate, Bragman said.

More details about the search are expected be released via a website the Smith family has created that seeks information about the Fox executive, as well as on a similar Facebook page. 

Bragman said that members of Smith's family would give television interviews to local news outlets this weekend in order to publicize the searches.

An 18-year veteran of Fox's distribution department, Smith, 57, is the branch manager for theaters in Dallas and Oklahoma City. In his Fox post, Smith serves as a liaison between the studio and theaters, making sure films get to their destination. He works out of the company's Calabasas office in the southwestern San Fernando Valley, not far from his residence in West Hills.

Family members have said that Smith was staying with a family friend in Oak Park, which is also near Calabasas, on May 1 after returning from the CinemaCon theater-owners convention in Las Vegas. He was supposed to stay overnight with the family friend, the Smiths have said. The 6-foot-6 Smith, who played basketball for UCLA in the mid-1970s, was last seen wearing purple pants and black and gray shoes.

The sheriff's department did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. 

Email: Daniel.Miller@THR.com

Twitter: @DanielNMiller

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