What Happened the Day Hollywood Exec Gavin Smith Went Missing

PHOTO: Gavin Smith, 57, left, a movie executive with 20th Century Fox studios, was reported missing in 2012.PlayABC News
WATCH Missing Hollywood Exec's Remains Found

Hollywood executive Gavin Smith, whose remains were just found two years after his disappearance, was leaving a friend's house in southern California on the night he vanished, never to be seen again by his wife and children.

The mystery started in May 2012, when Smith went to stay with a family friend, but never returned home. The family declined to tell ABC News at the time why Smith wasn't sleeping at home that night, but said he had a cellphone charger, shaving kit and other belongings at the friend's place.

Before his disappearance, one of Smith's sons reportedly tweeted that his dad had left the family. The tweet was later deleted, ABC News reported at the time.

Smith was last seen wearing his son's purple workout pants, a sign he had no intention of going anywhere in public, the family has said.

He drove away from the friend's home without any warning around 10 p.m. on May 1, a Tuesday, in his black Mercedes.

PHOTO: 20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith, who was last seen May 1, 2012, is shown in this undated file photo.Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department/AP Photo
20th Century Fox executive Gavin Smith, who was last seen May 1, 2012, is shown in this undated file photo.

Other Notable Dates:

May 2, 2012: Smith's wife reported him missing on Wednesday morning after he failed to pick the couple's son up from school.

May 7, 2012: Smith was reportedly seen at a taco restaurant with another woman, according to local media.

July 2012: Family offers $20,000 reward for information leading to Smith's whereabouts.

February 2013: Police find Smith's car, a black 2000 Mercedes-Benz 420E, in a storage facility in Simi Valley, prompting authorities to reclassify the case as a homicide investigation. The storage facility is connected to a convicted drug dealer named John Creech. Smith had met Creech's wife in rehab years earlier and had "some kind of relationship" with her, Lt. Dave Dolson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office said last year, according to The Associated Press.

Creech was named a person of interest but has not been charged in Smith's death.

May 2014: Smith is officially declared dead, KABC reported.

November 2014: Hikers find remains in a rural area of Palmdale, northern Los Angeles County, that are later identified as Gavin Smith's.