By Mirembe Martina
On Thursday, the disappearance of a Fox distribution executive, Gavin Smith was reclassified as a homicide.
Mr. Smith has been missing for over a year but the case was changed from a missing persons case to a homicide case after his car was found in a storage locker in Simi Valley, California. The 57-year-old, a father of three boys is believed to be dead although his body has not yet been found.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department found a car, a Mercedes 420E, registered to him in the aforementioned storage facility. The reclassification of the case began about a month ago. “We found the car and the car itself indicates preliminarily, that this was, in fact, a murder,” Sheriff’s spokesperson Steve Whitmore said. he added that they have issued “several search warrants” in conjunction with the case.
The storage facility, according to the Los Angeles Times, was linked to a convicted drug dealer, John Creech who is currently jailed. His wife, Chandrika Creech, apparently knew Smith through therapy they attended together and now, she is a person of interest in the case. She denied ever meeting Smit.
Smith disappeared when leaving a friend’s home in the Oak Park area last year in May. At the time of his disappearance, he was wearing purple athletic pants belonging to one of his sons, and he left behind his cellphone charger, shaving kit, and other items at the home. His sister, Tara Smith Addeo, talked about latest developments saying, “I don’t think anything really prepares you for news when somebody you love so much has been killed at the hands of somebody else. It’s tragic when it’s an accident, but when you know it’s on purpose, it just has a whole new light to it. Where I was beginning to lose hope that Gavin would be found alive, it’s still very, very difficult, because you just think that somebody is going to be around forever, that you’re going be around all the time … So it’s extremely upsetting.”
Smith’s family has offered a $20,000 reward for any information that leads to his whereabouts.