It was 31 days ago that Fox executive Gavin Smith drove away in his 2000 Mercedes 420E from the Oak Park neighborhood of Simi Hills, not to be heard from or seen since. While NBC Southern California’s Robert Kovacik reported last week that Smith might have been sighted at a Morro Bay restaurant on May 7, the information has yet to be corroborated by law enforcement authorities.
Excepting a piece on Forbes yesterday by Roger Friedman, one-month anniversary coverage has been scant. Which leaves the 70+ comments posted on findgavinsmith.com by a group of people that generally agrees with the theory that Smith drove off a canyon road. There’s info about grassroots searches that have been conducted, as well as this forceful declaration from search-and-rescue helicopter pilot and licensed P.I. Robert Tur:
The reason I have had such great success in finding missing aircraft and lost hikers missing in ‘somewhere’ in thousands of square miles of difficult terrain, is that I don’t waste time conducting Air Force style grid searches, but instead, spend the necessary time putting myself in the ‘shoes’ of the missing person… Assuming Mr. Smith left the Oak Park location sometime after 10 p.m., the night before his disappearance was noticed, where would he go? Home to pick up more personal belongings or did he take a ride to his Calabasas? If so, what routes would he normally use? Are any of those routes in secluded areas? Poorly lit? Have steep drop offs? These are the areas you should search first.
With respect to an airborne search it’s your best bet. Piloting my helicopter I have found a total of nine missing aircraft in high-altitude, steep terrain. I have also located more than a dozen missing hikers in the Santa Monica and Angeles National Forest and can tell you that the right pilot, with the right helicopter can cover the entire refined search area in four to six flight hours.
If this sort of airborne search has not already been carried out, perhaps those spearheading the effort to find Smith, his family in LA and siblings in Nevada can pool together enough money to finance such an excursion.[Photos courtesy: findgavinsmith.com]
Update – 06/05/12: Per the LA Times and CBSLA, Smith’s family and law enforcement officials will hold a press conference today to announce a $20,000 reward for information leading to the resolution of this case.
Previously on FishbowlLA:
The Daily Beast Scrutinizes Fox Executive’s Baffling Disappearance