The body of Fox executive Gavin Smith, who was last seen over two years ago, has been found in a shallow grave on the south side of Palmdale near the border of Acton in the Angeles National Forest area, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner.
At a Thursday news conference, L.A. County Sheriff’s lieutenant Dave Dolson confirmed that hikers had discovered human remains that were delivered to the coroner’s office. Several days later, Dolson said, the coroner’s office confirmed the remains were those of Smith.
“We are confident an arrest will be made,” Dolson said.
The investigation is ongoing, Dolson said, and there is potentially a lot more evidence to process. Law enforcement officials are “optimistic we will be able to find a cause of death,” Dolson said, although he said authorities do not believe there were gunshot wounds.
Smith’s black Mercedes Benz was found in February 2013 in a Simi Valley storage facility and the case was identified as a possible homicide.The storage unit was connected to John Creech, a convicted drug dealer whose wife had met Smith in rehab.
Creech, who was named a person of interest, is currently serving an eight year sentence in prison on drug charges, but has not been charged with Smith’s murder. The sheriff’s department ruled Smith’s death a homicide in May 2014 on the basis of evidence found, even in the absence of a body. Creech remains a person of interest, Dolson said, but he said “a lot of additional investigation and evidence will need to be examined” before any charge could me made.
The distribution executive was 57 when he was last seen in Oak Park, Calif., on May 1, 2012.