Following last week’s discovery of the remains of Gavin Smith, a 20th Century Fox executive who had gone missing in 2012, new leads in the case suggest his death may have been a direct hit ordered by an individual who had a vendetta against him. The individual suspected of carrying out the gruesome act may have had experience in violent crime.
On Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, Smith’s remains were discovered in a shallow grave in the rural desert area outside of Palmdale. The news was first reported by Fox 11 News.
Smith was 57 when he went missing, and due to years of decomposition and exposure to the elements, the exact cause of death may never be known. Los Angeles County coroner’s officials reportedly said they may never be able to determine exactly how Smith was killed or how his remains turned up in the desert area outside of Palmdale, according to the Los Angeles Times.
However, the new clues in conjunction with the discovery of Smith’s remains could help bring the ongoing case to a close and a few steps closer to making an arrest. The Times wrote that detectives know “how and why” Smith was killed and that law enforcement sources speaking on a condition of anonymity said he was likely “killed at the direction of an individual and with the assistance of others experienced in violent crime.”
Smith was legally declared dead on May 1, 2014, two years to the day that he went missing, according to the Los Angeles Times. He was last seen leaving the home of a female friend in Ventura. In a 2012 interview with Inside Edition, Smith’s wife Lisa disclosed that the couple suffered through infidelity, drug addiction, and money woes. “Do I feel betrayed? Of course, I loved him dearly,” Lisa said. She revealed at the time that she believed he was murdered.
In February of 2013, Smith’s missing black Mercedes Benz was found in a Simi Valley storage facility which led back to convicted drug dealer John Creech. Creech is still serving the remainder of his eight-year prison sentence for an unrelated drug conviction, according to the Associated Press.
Investigators have not revealed whether the murder was a revenge killing.
Lisa Smith and her two sons have reportedly relocated to Hawaii.
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