Police have found the remains of Gavin Smith, a Fox executive who vanished two years ago, in the high desert north of Los Angeles, sources close to the investigation told the NBC News investigative team Wednesday night.
Updated Article: Investigation Into Discovery of Remains
The remains of Smith, who vanished on May 1, 2012, and was declared dead two years later, were found Oct. 26 in a remote area of Palmdale near Acton, a Los Angeles County sheriff's detective told NBC4. Investigators have said they believe Smith was killed on the night of his disappearance.
Homicide detectives said the coronor's office is conducting an autopsy on the remains, and are waiting on the results to find out how he died.
The Antelope Valley Press reported that a family discovered a skull, a shallow grave and clothing that day while hiking in the same area.
The investigation was ongoing.
Smith's black Mercedes-Benz 420E was found Feb. 21, 2013 at a Simi Valley storage facility in Simi Valley connected to convicted drug dealer John Creech. Creech was named a person of interest in the case and is currently in custody on a drug charge at the Men's Central Jail.
Smith was in a relationship with Creech's wife, Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials have said.
Creech has not been charged in connection with the Smith case as it remains an active investigation, officials said.
The discovery of Smith's Mercedes led police to reclassify the case as a homicide and link it to Creech, officials said.
Smith, 57, was last seen driving the car from a friend's home in the Oak Park area at the western end of Los Angeles on May 1, 2012, between 9 and 10 p.m.
Smith was a basketball player on the 1975 UCLA championship team led by legendary coach John Wooden. Smith went on to become an actor and later a film executive at 20th Century Fox.
Smith left behind three sons.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the day Smith's remains were found. They were discovered Oct. 26, 2014.
Willian Avila and Philip Drechsler contributed to this report.