Authorities investigating the disappearance of missing 20th Century Fox movie executive Gavin Smith say they were simply following a lead from detective work when they conducted a search Friday morning of a Canoga Park home.
Lt. Dave Dolson, a detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide division, said the search warrant executed Friday was one of several they have served in the hunt for Smith. The former UCLA basketball player has been missing for more than a month after he left a friend’s home in Ventura County’s Oak Park neighborhood.
Neighbors told reporters that deputies had their guns drawn when they first arrived at the residence in the 8600 block of Santa Susana Place. Dolson said that was because of the wrought iron fence that surrounds the entrance to the house. Once the residents were given the search warrant, they allowed the police in, Dolson said, and no forced entry was required.
“This is still a missing persons investigation,” Dolson said. “We don’t have anything indicating there was foul play involved. We are not ruling it out, of course … everything’s still on the table.”
No arrests were made, Dolson said.
At least two SWAT vehicles arrived around 8 a.m. Friday, according to a neighbor on the block contacted by The Times. The neighbor said that a woman and her two children emerged from the house as it was being searched.
She said a family — including a husband, wife and two girls — lives in the home.
“They didn’t seem to leave with anything,” the neighbor said of the deputies.
Down the street, Marc Gogoshian, 25, stood outside his mother’s home and said his father goes to the gym with the husband who lives in the targeted house.
“He’s a nice guy,” Gogoshian said of the husband.
“It’s a very nice neighborhood. It’s quiet.”
Smith was wearing purple athletic pants belonging to one of his sons when he drove away in his Mercedes the night of May 1, leaving behind his cellphone charger, shaving kit and other items.
Search teams have combed the areas where Smith was last seen, and his family spread word of his disappearance online and on local movie screens. But detectives have remained stumped as to where Smith could be.
– Melissa Leu and Matt Stevens
Photo: Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators outside a home on Santa Susana Place in Canoga Park, where a search warrant was served Friday as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Gavin Smith. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times