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Gavin Smith, Missing Fox Executive, Found in Shallow Grave in CA Desert

Gavin Smith and family
Gavin Smith and his family in a photo released by the family. |

Gavin Smith, the Fox executive who had been missing since May of 2012, was found in a California desert last week, according to reports. The 57-year-old man's remains were discovered by hikers in a shallow grave not far from Palmdale.

Smith's remains haven't told police or L.A. County coroner's much either. Hikers found the man's skull and some bones.

"It could be months, if ever, worst-case scenario," coroner's Lt. David Smith told The Los Angeles Times.

Gavin Smith had been last seen leaving a female friend's house in Ventura County on May 1, 2012. He vanished, and despite his family posting a $20,000 reward, very few leads were found that pointed to his location. On May 1, 2014 he was declared legally dead, The LA Times reported.

Smith's disappearance was initially declared a missing person's case, but when police found the executive's black 2000 Mercedes-Benz 420E at a storage facility in Simi Valley in February 2013, they reclassified it as a homicide. Authorities said that evidence in the vehicle pointed to Smith's murder.

Police questioned James Creech, who had a connection to the storage locker and received an eight-year sentence in prison for drugs. Though Creech denied ever meeting Smith, authorities said that the man knew Smith's wife from when they met in rehab.

No one has been charged in the murder of Smith, however.

Smith worked for Fox for 18 years and helped distribute films like "Avatar" and the "Star Wars" trilogy. He leaves behind three children.

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