Missing executive Gavin Smith officially declared dead

LOS ANGELES

Smith's death certificate lists the official date of his death as May 1, 2012, the day that he went missing.

After receiving a tip, sheriff's deputies recovered Smith's Mercedes-Benz in February 2013 in a Simi Valley storage facility rented by a man incarcerated in a different investigation. That led investigators to elevate the missing-person case to a homicide investigation.

Smith allegedly had an unspecified relationship with the wife of the man renting the storage unit, John Creech, sheriff's investigators said.

Creech was declared a person of interest, but investigators said they believe the person who murdered Smith did not act alone.

Deputies impounded Creech's Hummer and searched his Canoga Park home as well as other locations around the San Fernando Valley.

Smith, 57 was last seen leaving a friend's home in Ventura County. The search began when he didn't pick his son up from school.

The last trace of Smith's cellphone activity was in the area of Encinitas Avenue and Roxford Street.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department at (800) 222-TIPS.

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