Timeline: Fox Executive Gavin Smith Case - NBC Southern California

Timeline: Fox Executive Gavin Smith Case

Two years after Fox executive Gavin Smith vanished, hikers found his remains Oct. 26



    The dates below mark important events in the investigation into the death of Fox executive Gavin Smith, who disappeared in May 2012. Smith was last seen leaving a friends house. His remains were discovered Oct. 26, 2014 in the high desert north of Los Angeles.

    Tuesday May 1, 2012 - Gavin Smith Vanished

    Gavin Smith, a 20th Century Fox distribution executive, went missing. The 57-year-old was last seen leaving a friend's house in the Oak Park area. He left in a black 2000 Mercedes-Benz. When he didn't pick up his teenage son for school, his family said they knew something was wrong.

    Monday May 7, 2012 - Claims of Smith Sightings

    A man from Wisconsin told NBC4 he saw Smith and a woman at a popular restaurant in Morrow Bay, but did not realize who he was until he read about his disappearance the next day.

    Tuesday June 5, 2012 - $20,000 Reward Offered

    Smith's family members and sheriff's department investigators announced a $20,000 reward for information in the case.

    Friday June 8, 2012 - Deputies Search Chatsworth Home

    The Los Angeles County Sheriff missing persons unit served a search warrant on a home in Chatsworth in connection with the disappearance Smith. Real estate records list a Chandrika Winata as the owner of the Chatsworth home. She also owns a Beverly Hills Cafe, was divorced a year ago and filed bankruptcy around the same time. No arrests were made.

    Thursday July 26, 2013 - Intrigue Surrounds Drug Felon

    The investigation into Smith's disappearance led investigators to search the West Hills home of John Creech, a convicted drug felon. His sentencing was once again delayed amid intrigue.

    Wednesday Jan 23, 2103 - Creech's Car Found

    Creech's Hummer was unexpectedly discovered at the scene of a marijuana bust in Granada Hills. The car had been sought for months for its connection to the case. Detectives went through the vehicle for any evidence.

    Friday Feb 21, 2014 - Smith's Car Found

    A black Mercedes Benz 420E registered to Gavin Smith was recovered at a storage facility in Simi Valley. The man linked to the storage facility was Creech. The discovery of Smith's car led police to reclassify the case as a homicide. Investigators believed Smith was murdered within a week of his disappearance, even though his body had not been recovered.

    March 2013 - Relationship With Creech's Wife

    Investigators confirm that Smith had "a relationship" with Chandrika Creech, wife of John Creech. The two had met during drug rehab, according to authorities.

    Thursday May 1, 2014 - Smith's Death Confirmed

    The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department revealed for the first time that Smith's death is official. During a news conference months later, authorities revealed that evidence found in Smith's car led to the determination the case was a homicide.

    Sunday Oct 26, 2014 - Smith's Remains Found

    A hiker's dog locates Smith's remains in the high desert north of Los Angeles. A family discovered a skull, a shallow grave and clothing that day while hiking in the same area. Smith's skull was found by the Rocky Ramos' Labrador retriever about 20 feet from the grave. Investigators said they are waiting for autopsy results to determine a cause of death.

    Friday Jan. 30, 2015 - Murder Charge Filed

    A murder charge is filed against John Creech in the death of Gavin Smith.

    Thursday Feb. 26, 2015 - Creech Pleads Not Guilty

    The convicted drug dealer is held on $1 million bail following his plea, as Smith's family laments "the agonizing reality of Gavin's violent death" in a statement.