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Missing 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith has been declared dead by authorities.
“A judge has ruled a death certificate for Gavin,” Lt. Dave Dolson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told KNBC on Thursday.
Smith, 18-year veteran of Fox’s distribution department, was last seen on the night of May 1, 2012, 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.
His sister, Tara Addeo, told KNBC that a detective broke the news to her with a phone call.
“He said I don’t know how to tell you this but Gavin isn’t coming back,” Addeo said. “There was enough biological evidence to prove that Gavin was killed.”
Dolson said the evidence was a “major piece of the puzzle.”
“He died on the night of his disappearance,” Dolson added.
A spokesperson for the L.A. Sheriff’s Department told The Hollywood Reporter that further details were not immediately available.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials began investigating the case as a homicide last year after his black Mercedes-Benz E420 sedan was discovered Feb. 21, 2013 in a Simi Valley storage facility connected to convicted drug dealer John Creech.
Creech, currently serving jail time, reportedly isn’t talking to detectives, who say that finding Smith continues to be a priority.
Smith spent 18 years working in Fox’s distribution department. He had been the branch manager for Dallas and Oklahoma City theaters when he disappeared. He was last seen the night of May 1, 2012 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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