May 10, 2012 -- Family members of missing Hollywood executive Gavin Smith paint a portrait of a man who is well-liked and well-adjusted, who loves his family and his work too much to just abandon them.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is investigating Smith's disappearance as a missing person's case, with spokesman Steve Whitmore saying detectives have found no evidence of foul play. However, entertainment website Deadline Hollywood was reporting Wednesday night that the investigation had been changed to a criminal homicide.
Whitmore told ABCNews.com that nothing had changed; missing persons' cases are always handled by the homicide division.
Meanwhile, the search continues for the 57-year-old former UCLA basketball star and 20th Century Fox movie executive who has been missing since the night of May 1. The family has set up a website, findinggavinsmith.com, to funnel information, and Smith's eldest son, Evan Smith, a star basketball player at USC, continues to spread the word of his father's disappearance on Twitter.
Smith's disappearance remains a mystery, especially to those who knew him best.
"Everybody loved him," his sister Tara Addeo told ABC News' Cecilia Vega. "I mean, I know that sounds very cliche to say in a situation when you're missing someone that you love so much, that everybody loved them. But honestly, it is the truth. Everybody did love him. He was wonderful. I cannot imagine him having any enemies."
On May 1, Smith was staying at the home of a family friend in Oak Park, Calif., not far from his own home in the upscale community of West Hills on the eastern edge of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, when he drove off, without a word, in his black Mercedes around 10 p.m. and never came back.
His wife, Lisa Smith, reported him missing the next morning when he failed to pick up their youngest son to take him to school and then did not call into work or his family.
"That's a huge cause for concern," Lisa Smith told Vega. "He did not call his office. He didn't show up to work. He's never done any of those things in 21 years."
The family would not say why Smith, an 18-year veteran in the movie industry who has helped distribute movies such as "Avatar" and the "Star Wars" trilogy, was staying with the family friend in Oak Park after returning from a movie convention in Las Vegas.
Law enforcement officials and Addeo have spoken to the friend, a woman, since Smith's disappearance, and Addeo said, "She had no indication that anything was wrong with him, at all."
"He was not unstable," Addeo added. "He was a loving father. He would do anything for his boys."
"My father's a very, very responsible adult," Evan Smith told Vega. "He would never do anything like that. He's a great father. He would never leave my little brother out on the street, waiting for him to get picked up, you know? So that's a cause for concern right there. My dad had no reason to leave. No reason at all."
Addeo said even as a teenager, Smith would always inform the family of his whereabouts.
"That's the way we were raised," she said. "I know from growing up, he would never just walk away."
Smith grew up in the San Fernando Valley in a movie industry family. His mother was an assistant movie producer, as well as a script supervisor, and got Smith involved in the business at an early age.
He even did work in front of the camera, as a stuntman on episodes of "Remington Steele" and as an actor in films, including "The Ty Cobb Story."
At 6-foot-6, 210-pounds, with green eyes, gray hair with blond streaks and a goatee, Smith even looks like a movie star, his wife said. He has a 5-inch scar on his calf and a 4-inch scar on his inner right wrist.
"And he'll always wear his shades," Addeo said. "He embodies warmth and love and fun. This is who he is. People love connecting with Gavin."
Smith found his niche in the entertainment industry in film distribution for Fox, where he was a branch manager covering Oklahoma and Dallas.
"He's very good at what he does," Lisa said. "He's a great employee. He's very well loved."
That includes on the basketball court, where Addeo said he became a local celebrity growing up. He was recruited for UCLA, where he played on legendary coach John Wooden's final championship team in 1975.
Like his father did for him, he coached his sons in basketball and soccer and rarely missed one of their games.
"We have a tight-knit family," Lisa Smith said. "And we didn't really have a social life. Our social life is going to games and raising our family."
Evan Smith said his father would attend his USC games in his spare time, watch his middle son's high school basketball games or go on a hike with his youngest son.
"He's everything that I would want in a dad," Evan Smith said.
"I just want everyone to know that this is not just some man that's gone missing," he added. "This is a man that has a family that needs him back and that we are not going to stop until we find my dad."