UK & World News
Missing Movie Executive: Murder Probe Launched
A murder investigation has been launched following a 10-month search for a missing movie executive.
Police believe 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith was killed after his Mercedes-Benz was discovered at a storage facility on February 21 in Simi Valley, California. His body has not been found.
A convicted drug dealer has been named a person of interest.
The storage facility has been linked to John Creech - a man who has been in prison since June serving an eight-year sentence on an unrelated drug conviction for sales or transport of narcotics, said Los Angeles County sheriff Dave Dolson.
Mr Dolson said 57-year-old Mr Smith had "some kind of relationship" with Creech's wife, Chandrika, after meeting her in rehab a few years ago, but he declined to provide details.
Mr Dolson said investigators have been focusing on Creech for a long time but stopped short of calling him a suspect.
"He has been a person of interest for several months, and he's still that person of interest," he said.
Mr Smith, who was with Fox's movie distribution department for nearly 18 years, was last seen on May 1 in Ventura County's Oak Park neighbourhood after leaving a friend's home at about 9.35pm.
Authorities believe Mr Smith's car was in the Porter Ranch area of the San Fernando Valley about a week after he was last seen, and was eventually moved to the storage facility by two people.
Mr Dolson said investigators have served between 25 and 30 search warrants in the case - primarily in the San Fernando Valley area - including on Creech's home and his car.