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Film Executive Missing For Two Years Declared Dead

Film Executive Missing For Two Years Declared Dead

A California judge has issued a death certificate nearly two years to the day after a Hollywood film executive vanished.

"We think he died on the night of his disappearance."
KNBC reports 20th Century Fox film executive Gavin Smith's death certificate declared his death a homicide, with his date of death listed as the night he disappeared.

The then 57-year-old disappeared back on May 1, 2012. He was last seen leaving a friend's home that day. KCBS notes even though Smith was declared dead, his body has never been found.

But more than a year ago, KABC reports the missing person investigation had developed into a homicide investigation after police found Smith's car at the storage garage of a man who was already in prison on other charges.

That man is John Creech. According to the Los Angeles Times, while Smith was in rehab, he had some sort of "relationship" with Creech's wife. There hasn't been any reported information on what that "relationship" entailed. Creech told the paper early in the investigation that he had never met Smith before.

KNBC reports Creech is not talking to detectives as they try to get more information on Smith's disappearance. Police have named him a person of interest, but he has not been charged with any crime. Police also say Creech might not have acted alone.

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jnjsec May 02 2014 at 9:32 AM

Thought they had to wait 7 years before declaring someone dead.

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3 replies
tropicalriderceo May 02 2014 at 12:45 PM

I thought it was 7 years to be delcared dead?

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1 reply
dc9760 tropicalriderceo May 02 2014 at 2:28 PM

At 7 years you are presumed dead, a judge can issue the order any time he/she wants after an assertion is made by an interested party (usually an immediate family member). They have to show some reasonable evidence. In this case nobody contested he was dead including the insurance company that paid off on the life insurance claim. Disappear for 7 years and you are presumed dead. It still can be argued but in most cases the court will accept the filing if there has been no siting or other evidence to contradict the assertion.

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scorpian777 May 02 2014 at 2:31 PM

I always thought it took seven years before one can be declared dead! Why is declared dead in just two yrs??????

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Iris May 02 2014 at 4:01 PM

What was the hurry to declare him dead?
Very Strange.

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rmvanb84 May 02 2014 at 10:51 AM

Why should I care?

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1 reply
spikecogan rmvanb84 May 02 2014 at 11:48 AM

why read and make a foolish comment like that

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cvanac8550 May 02 2014 at 12:10 PM


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Chas May 02 2014 at 12:26 PM

One should ask, what kind of money are we talking here? What kind of investigation was going on to come up with this conclusion? Two years and that's it? He's dead!! "No we're sorry there's no body but just know he's out there dead somewhere". Do you think it was the same type of investigation that was used to come up with that lame conclusion regarding Brittany Murphy and her husband? I still don't understand how any investigative authority is able to get anyone with an IQ above seventy to believe their conclusion and end the investigation. Just another tragedy we can't figure out. "Okay boys bring in the sweepers,we'll put this one under the rug with the others. This has been the world according to Chas

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Richard May 02 2014 at 1:00 PM

I though the Statute of Limitations was 7 years before someone could be declared legally dead. Oh well that's California.

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scorpian777 May 02 2014 at 2:32 PM

Correction! was he*

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