Like the tragic shooting of publicist Ronnie Chasen in Beverly Hills, the May 1 disappearance of Fox film executive Gavin Smith has transfixed members of the film and TV industry. Today, the formidable Daily Beast reporting tandem of Maria Elena Fernandez and Christine Pelisek takes a look at the latest circumstantial evidence and tries their best to uncover something new.
Contrary to the family’s initial statements, Smith was staying with a female friend in Ventura County far longer than just the night before his disappearance. According to the reporters, he had been there basically since returning to LA from CinemaCon in Las Vegas around April 20:
“They were kind of friends and he was hanging out there for a few days,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. homicide division’s Sgt. John O’Brien said. “There was no romance in that at all. Just hanging out with a friend for a couple of days.”
Elsewhere in the article, The Daily Beast definitely stretches the meaning of “learned” when it uses that verb to refer to the fact that gardeners on the street told the publication they sometimes saw Smith sunbathing in the afternoon on his West Hills home patio.
For law enforcement authorities, what’s even stranger than the complete absence since May 1 of any cell phone or ATM-credit card use by Smith is the fact that no one has caught sight of the exec’s black Mercedes. This has led some to speculate that he may have driven off the road in one of the canyons near Ventura. It’s unclear from the article whether investigators have been able to locate any security camera footage of Smith driving.
Also on FishbowlLA:
One Month Later, Gavin Smith’s Disappearance Remains a Complete Mystery