LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Police believe they know how and why Hollywood executive Gavin Smith was killed, but won't reveal anything until the investigation is complete.
The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office has positively identified the body of the missing 20th Century Fox distribution executive.
Gavin Smith's remains were discovered in a shallow grave on Oct. 26, by hikers in the Angeles National Forest, just south of Palmdale.
Rocky Ramos made the grim discovery while hiking in the remote area with his dog Buddy. He says Buddy led him to the remains.
Lt. Dave Dolson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said there is evidence that Smith was slain in his own black Mercedes-Benz. While results of an autopsy have not been finalized, the death of the 57-year-old has been investigated as a murder.
Dolson said investigators haven't ruled out Smith's death was a result of a shooting, but they don't believe that was what happened.
"We haven't ruled that out, but we don't believe at this time that that was in play," said Dolson.
Dolson said there was indication of some trauma, but he did not elaborate. He added that police "have a pretty good picture" of what happened to Smith.
Smith was last seen on May 1, 2012, as he left the home of a female friend in eastern Ventura County. The search for the father of three began the next day when he didn't pick up his son from school.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officially declared Smith dead in May.
His Mercedes-Benz was recovered in a Simi Valley storage facility in February 2013. John Creech, a convicted drug dealer, rented the storage space and was named a person of interest.
Investigators said Smith had some kind of relationship with Creech's wife. Creech is already behind bars for an unrelated crime.
Detectives served dozens of search warrants in the San Fernando Valley and recovered a significant amount of evidence after finding Smith's car. They say the discovery of Smith's body will help their investigation.
"There's potentially a lot more evidence for us to process, which could develop additional leads, which detectives will have to follow up on," Dolson said.
No one has ever been officially charged with Smith's death.
ABC News contributed to this report.