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A missing Fox executive who is presumed to have been killed was in a relationship with the wife of a convicted drug dealer who is a person of interest in the case, Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials said.
Gavin Smith, who has been missing for 10 months, met Chandrika Creech in drug rehab, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Dave Dolson.
Chandrika Creech is the wife of John Creech, an admitted drug dealer who is currently in jail on a drug charge and has been named as a "person of interest" in Smith's disappearance. Creech has not been charged in connection with the Smith case as it remains an active investigation, officials said.
"There was a relationship and we’ll just leave it at that," Dolson said during a Thursday afternoon press conference announcing that the case is a homicide although Smith's body has not been found.
The discovery of Smith's Mercedes led police to reclassify the case as a homicide and link it to Creech, officials said. Dolson said a close associate led deputies to a storage locker linked to Creech.
Smith's black Mercedes Benz 420E was recovered at a storage facility in Simi Valley on Feb. 21.
Smith, 57, was last seen driving the car from a friend's home in the Oak Park area at the western end of Los Angeles on May 1 between 9 and 10 p.m.
Investigators believe Smith was killed within a week of his disappearance.
Smith's widow Lisa released a statement on Thursday, thanking deputies for the hard work they've done on the case.
"We are both saddened and heartened by the discovery of this crucial evidence, and know that the sheriff's department will help us acquire a measure of justice," Lisa Smith said.