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After finding a car belonging to missing Fox executive Gavin Smith, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials now are investigating the case as a homicide, The Hollywood Reporter confirms.
Smith’s black Mercedes-Benz E420 sedan was located Feb. 21 in a Simi Valley storage facility connected to convicted drug dealer John Creech, who is in jail. Officials served “several search warrants” in the San Fernando Valley as part of the investigation, sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
VIDEO: Gavin Smith Mystery: Family Seeks Answers in Disappearance of Fox Exec
No body has been discovered.
A statement from the Sheriff’s Department said that based on “evidence found within the car and surrounding the car,” Smith’s case is no longer being treated as a missing person.
In January, a gray SUV belonging to Creech has been discovered at a drug house and linked to Smith. At the time, Los Angeles radio station KFI-AM reported that Smith allegedly had an affair with Creech’s wife, Chandrika.
STORY: Wife of Missing Fox Exec Gavin Smith Acknowledges Extramarital Affairs, Suspects Foul Play
During an unrelated interview with a Los Angeles Times reporter, Creech reportedly said he had never heard of Smith.
Smith, an 18-year veteran of Fox’s distribution department, had been the branch manager for theaters in Dallas and Oklahoma City at the time of his disappearance. Sheriff’s officials said he was last seen on the night of May 1 at a friend’s residence in Oak Park, an affluent Ventura County community. He drove away from the property in his Mercedes between 9 and 10 p.m.
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