Murder Charge Filed in Death of Fox Exec Gavin Smith

John Creech, already in custody on a drug charge, had been considered a "person of interest" in the May 2012 death of Gavin Smith

A convicted drug dealer has been charged with murder in the death of Fox executive Gavin Smith, whose remains were found more than a year ago in the desert north of Los Angeles.

John Creech, a 42-year-old convicted drug dealer, has been charged in the case, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office confirmed Thursday. Arraignment is scheduled for Monday.

Investigators determined that Smith, 57, had "a relationship" with Creech's wife, who he met during drug rehab, but have not provided details. Creech had been identified as a "person of interest" in the case and has been in custody on a drug charge.

Smith was last seen leaving a friend's house May 1, 2012, in the Oak Park area in a black 2000 Mercedes-Benz. His family sensed something was wrong when he did not pick up his teenage son from school.

Authorities have said they believe Smith was killed on the night of his disappearance. His remains were found by hikers in October 2013 in a remote area of Palmdale near Acton.

The investigation led to a search of Creech's West Hills home in July 2013 and a major break in the case occurred in February 2014 when authorities discovered Smith's black Mercedes-Benz at a storage building in Simi Valley. Investigators said Creech was linked to the storage unit.

Creech is serving an eight-year jail sentence after pleading no contest to a count of sale or transportation for sale of a controlled substance in September 2012, according to the district attorney's office.

Smith played basketball at UCLA and was part of the 1975 Bruins' championship team. He became an actor and later a film executive at 20th Century Fox.

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