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Report – What this is About


Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Is Seeking The Public’s Assistance In Locating Missing Person

Watch Video – Any other information can be emailed to

Gavin Smith, age 57, 6′ 06″, 210 lbs. Last seen in a vehicle similar to this.

Gavin Smith with Family

Gavin Smith with Family


Gavin Smith Male White Age: 57
6′ 06″, 210 lbs., grey hair with blonde highlights, green eyes, has a goatee.

Scar: approximate 5″ scar on his calf, and an approximate 4” scar on the inner right wrist.

Last seen wearing purple pants, and black and grey shoes.

2000 Mercedes 420E, black, has padded storage racks on roof, tinted windows.

California license plate #6EKT044

The missing person, Gavin Smith, was last seen at his residence on the 500 block of Callwood Court, in Oak Park between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012. He left in the above listed vehicle and has not been heard from since.

His family is very concerned and is also asking for the public’s assistance in locating Mr. Smith.

Any information, please contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, Missing Person’s Detail.

For Any Information Contact:


File Number 012-02470-2254-400

Phone (323) 890-5500 Fax (323) 887-1160

L.A.S.D. Homicide Bureau

5747 Rickenbacker Road, Commerce 90040


On Line:

Phone: 800 222-TIPS (8477) – or text “TIPLA” plus your tip to 274637 or CRIMES

Any other information can be emailed to

  1. bodester permalink

    I think it’s unsettling that this site hasn’t been updated in months. It’s almost like: oh well, he’s gone! I’m a friend of Gavin’s and I want him found. The family seems to have given up.

  2. I just read in the Warner Center News (5/24) that there have been multiple sightings of Gavin in Morro Bay the weekend of 5/25. Said he was seen by residents and a waitress at a local taco stand. Says he was seen dining with a female companion at the restaurant, where they paid in cash. I don’t see any updates since the search was cancelled. Is this report true? Will it be added to this site? Thanks. POSTED: 5/30/2012 7:34 am PST

  3. I am posting this from ScottY:
    Hi Barbara, its ScottY from the forums. I Spoke to my contact who is a longtime and former head of the santa monica mountains conservancy. He would know every way possible to hike to the bottom of that canyon(Kanan). Unfortunately there is no way from the road, down into the canyon. There is a trailhead called backbone trail, and if you head east on it it takes you over the 1st tunnel, which gets you going in the right direction. The trail does not drop off into the steep canyon however, due to the sheer drop off. You might be able to find a way down into the canyon after the trail goes over the tunnel, but its going to be hard work to not get yourself killed getting down. The streisand property backs up into the canyon according to my contact. I think the name is rameriez canyon road??? those folks are serious about private property, and may not be as welcoming as they should be.There are many lookouts that hang over the canyon as you head to the beach, but I think folks have looked there before. feel free to post this into the forums,

  4. i would love to help with the search but i live in Delaware. again my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family

  5. i am praying for mr smith and his family. i just heard that nick stahl is missing does anyone think there might be a connection?

  6. I don’t live in California anymore but if I did I would gladly help in the search. I am praying for Gavin and his family. Hoping that he is found soon.

  7. Why are there no dates on anything? People keep saying things like ‘this Saturday’ and ‘next Saturday’…Leave a date!!!

    • We hope to have the official location posted shortly. The search is scheduled to happen this weekend, Saturday May the 19th and Sunday May the 20th. Thanks for your inquiry!

  8. ScottY,
    My name is Barbara Bean, I was part of the Saturday search party that went down into Malibu canyon. I will hike down as much of Kanan as I can, but I am not local to the area. I am a San Diego transplant. Can you or anyone else here give me the best “starting” spot on Kanan to start my canyon search? I see on Google maps it is a long road, so a starting point at the most likely first place is what I need from someone who knows. I need a road name and/or crossroad so I can google it on the map and find my way there. Also, a suggestion as to where to park my car while I am hiking. Although Gordon put $40 in an envelope to cover all 4 of our cars on the Malibu search, the ranger did not bother to check the envelopes and gave us all nasty tickets. We even had the tags displayed on our dashboards. I don’t want to collect a second ticket.
    Thanks! You can reach me here or at :
    This is a serious reply, my hiking boots are ready to go!

    • sierralucas permalink

      Thanks Barbara – my family searched Kanan Road on May 6th and put up flyers in both directions. We started at the 101 and went all the way to PCH on both sides with binoculars and stopped at every possible turn or evidence that appeared to indicate a vehicle could’ve gone over and only found unrelated items, including a damaged dishwasher. Amazing what you find off of the canyon roads. We did not search any of the side roads off of Kanan and I am not sure if anyone on this site has done that yet either. I have seen where people have searched Malibu Canyon and I believe Topanga Canyon. We’ve discussed creating an area on this site for “Searched Areas” as the car has to be somewhere and to eliminate those that are volunteering from duplicating efforts.

  9. Have you thought about putting a story in People magazine? You could reach a lot of people all over the country. Just a thought…

  10. This website has been updated withou dates. It is hard to tell what are current posts as none are time stamped.

  11. Natalie permalink

    I was looking on Google Maps Satellite page to see aerial pictures from Oak Park to Malibu and found something interesting.

    Off of Kanan Rd, directly across from Malibu View Ct, are two dirt road cut offs. One of them shows a black car sitting in the middle of nothing. It’s on the dirt road about 200 ft from Kanan Rd.
    Then I found what looks like to be two car wheels in the brush. Look up Mulholland Dr to Mohegan Dr. Then scan left up the dirt path towards Kanan Rd from Mohegan Dr. You’ll see a large rock in a lot of green. If you enlarge it you’ll see two white dots right up against it. It looks like a car could have gone off of Kanan Rd and traveled down until it hit the rock sideways. When fully enlarged these dots can easily be tires. If that is a car and the dots are that bright, then, it hasn’t been there long enough to rust yet.
    I don’t know how old the satellite images are, but I hope both of these are not Gavin’s car and that he comes home safely.

    • Anonymous permalink

      says the images are from 2007

      • sierralucas permalink

        I am going to reach out to Evan and Austin tomorrow to get updated images and photos of the actual car if available.

  12. Dawn permalink

    Here’s a story about a black car that went off Malibu Canyon spotted by LA County Fire’s helicopter crew. Confirms what Robert Tur said:

  13. Sam Harris permalink

    Question: Did he have bad allergies and go to the pharmacy for an inhaler by chance? I have had to do this late night myself esp. after returning from vacation/traveling. If so I would check into this with local pharmacies.

  14. Ben L. permalink

    Great questions Joelle! I am also wondering why family, Fox, and/or friends have not reached out to Nancy Grace yet?

  15. Kelly permalink

    Here’s a simple question to ask:

    Was Mr. Smith in the habit of running out at night for a snack, or over-the-counter items from a pharmacy, etc.?

    If he did this occasionally, which stores or pharmacies did he go to? The stores would have security cameras inside and perhaps in the parking lots.

    • Anonymous permalink

      Scared that this search is going to fade away. I love my friend

      • We can’t lose the buzz in the media outlets. Please keep plugging away, talking about G, and keeping the faith. Most importantly, DO SOMETHING!

        You could be the change!

  16. Wailani permalink

    Prayer is what this group needs. Ask for a hedge of protection around Gavin. Ask for heavenly help since the things of this world is not successful at this time. Ask for him to come back to his family who love and need him. I am praying for this family. Ask everyone you know to pray, corporate prayer. May God bless all of them and bring this father home. Forgive anything that has happened in the past. Bring him home. Keep faith, hope, and most of all LOVE.

  17. Robert Tur
    Commercial Helicopter Pilot
    California Licensed Private Investigator #15360

    A friend told me that Gavin Smith was missing and asked me for advice. Here it is:

    Assuming that Mr. Smith wasn’t a victim of a criminal act, or decided to take time to sort things out, somewhere else, the following should be considered before friends and family conduct a search:

    Mr. Smith was last seen a female friend at her Oak Park home at approximately 10 PM.

    Mr. Smith left his cell phone charger at the home and it can be assumed by the time he was reported missing, the phone’s charge is depleted, unable to provide it’s cellular GPS location.

    Mr. Smith’s car is a 2000 Mercedes Benz 420E. That year model doesn’t have GPS navigation or cellular accident reporting system. There’s no way to track this vehicle.

    It’s been over a week, and assuming Mr. Smith’s disappearance is a result of an accident, there’s a slim chance he’s still alive. There have been numerous reports of injured victims trapped in their car surviving a week, or longer.

    People, in my 30 years as a search and rescue pilot and licensed private investigator, are creatures of habit. They travel the same routes, stop at the same locations, see the same people, and make the same mistakes. Stick with the obvious and avoid wasting valuable time with aimless searches. The reason I have had such great success in finding missing aircraft and lost hikers missing in ‘somewhere’ in thousands of square miles of difficult terrain, is that I don’t waste time conducting Air Force style grid searches, but instead, spend the necessary time putting myself in the ‘shoes’ of the missing person. In one case I found a crashed fixed-wing aircraft 200 miles northeast of Los Angeles, in the High Sierras, flying directly to the plane. How did I do it? I simply looked at an aviation map, and knowing the most common way pilots crash, found the most suitable terrain near the departure end of the airport last used by the aircraft, and there it was, at 4,800 feet in a blind canyon near the Kern River.

    Assuming Mr. Smith left the Oak Park location sometime after 10 PM, the night before his disappearance was noticed, where would he go? Home to pick up more personal belongings or did he take a ride to his Calabasas? If so, what routes would he normally use? Are any of those routes in secluded areas? Poorly lit? Have steep drop offs? These are the areas you should search first.

    With respect to an airborne search it’s your best bet. Piloting my helicopter I have found a total of 9 missing aircraft (including a commercial airliner brought down by a man that shot the flight crew with a high-powered handgun) in high-altitude, steep terrain. I have also located more than a dozen missing hikers in the Santa Monica and Angeles National Forest and can tell you that the right pilot, with the right helicopter can cover the entire refined search area in 4 to 6 flight hours.

    Best regards,


  18. Anonymous permalink

    Any news? I hear that they’ve interviewed the husband of his girlfriend. Apparently, the seperated-from-his-wife Mr. Smith has at least 2 girlfriends, one of which is married. Are there anymore searches going on in canyons?

    • Barbara Bean permalink

      Yes, more searches are going on and being planned. The rest of your post (girlfriends) is more gossip fodder. Kindly knock it off. This isn’t TMZ, it is a place for people to find Gavin. If you want to read that stuff, knock yourself out, but I think it is best if you do not spread it around on his families site.
      People are searching this evening and tomorrow. Care to join us? The search groups can use all the eyes and people power Los Angeles has to give them.

      Barbara Bean

  19. Barbara Bean permalink

    I suspect the site has not been updated because there is nothing to report. Two groups (I was in one of them) searched yesterday. A group is going out tonight. Another tomorrow (I will be in that one.) Those closest to him believe his car went off one of the roads. Since nothing has been found, there is nothing to say except please keep looking! People, on the ground, searching the canyons off the roads are going to be the people who likely find Gavin. Can you help? Do you need a reward to try and find a man who has been in an accident? If a psychic actually knows something, then by all means psychic, come forward now and tell us where he is. Anyone have search and rescue dogs, contact people who are searching. There are many things that could be added to this to help, we need the people to actually do these things. Don’t wait for someone else to do it, research it and call people. Man power and woman power is what is needed. Let’s walk the walk and stop talking the talk! Pick up your phones and start calling people who can help. You will be surprised at what you can get accomplished. I am still in shock at how nearly everyone I meet has no clue who Gavin Smith is or that he is missing. You have to keep bombarding the general public with this information, else they do not notice. Not a slam on us, just the way humans are. So much information coming in at all angles. Scream it from the rooftops. Have you posted his information on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites? Walk on foot a few blocks around where he could be? Told everyone? It takes a village 🙂 Let’s be an amazing village and get this man found!!

    Barbara Bean

    • Bev permalink

      I’ve posted 3 times on Facebook and no one is responding or reposting. I’m really disappointed in my “friends”. I won’t give up though. I’m 1000 miles away so I can’t help in the searches, but if I can do anything else from here let me know. I know Gavin from when I lived in LA and I’m hoping for his safe return.

    • Anonymous permalink

      As a resident of Oak Park, I would like to advise you that there are NO flyers on street lights, in businesses, at popular hangouts, etc…SO, it doesn’t surprise me that no one has heard that he is missing. Pretty sad.

  20. Anonymous permalink

    IHOP is on Kanan and the 101…not Denny’s

  21. dka permalink

    why hasn’t this site been updated? Today is the 14th!

  22. David permalink

    Why hasn’t Fox posted a reward?

  23. Chef Tony permalink

    Just wanted to say that regardless of outcome, Gavin’s case has touched a lot of people. He played basketball in Hawaii for just one season, but it’s clear that most University of Hawaii sports fans have been thinking about him at this time.

  24. Shane permalink

    Im wondering why no one has mentioned the possibility of using Blood Hounds or other specially traing dogs to find missing people. Or looking in to utilizing a police psychic? Either one certainly can’t hurt.

  25. ScottY permalink

    @ Elizabeth wow is all I can say. If you have problems in Costco, grabe a dude in an orange vest. Or remember to take your meds.

    I live in oak park, and have been following this case daily. First off there is 0 chance that he is in oak park, or had an accident in the canyons around here(oak park) You can only hike or ride to get to them. Kanan rd is a different story however. From oak park kanan is a straight shot to the beach. In my opinion as someone who has lived here for 30 years you only take malubu cny rd to save time, or avoid traffic. I doubt that at 10 pm he would have jumped the 101 to malabu cny rd to get to the ocean. And decker canyon is too remote/far/avoidable…as in folks don’t drive it due to it’s dangers,which any angilino in our area would know about. Kanan has many homes along it’s route. There are a few spots that a car could go off the road without some of the high sitting houses being able to see them. Also carcrashes can sometimes start fires, kanan is fairly dry at the moment I bet. There is a trailhead that begins before the 1st tunnel(after a nice big looping right hand turn). It’s on the right hand side. That’s where kanan gets remote(only 2 houses I can think of after). One house has a birdseye view of the canyon( i think its on top of the 2nt tunnel). Someone should probly put a flier in their mailbox. If your searching around troutdale, or ladyface area, I’m sorry but that’s not far enough in. A man who has a MBZ doesn’t crash there. If there is a search effort similar to the good Dr’s, I would love to be involved. I’m available fri, and I’ll keep an eye on the forums. Let’s find Gavin using some good old fashion positive thought, and brain power(ok and some sweat)

    Scott Y

    • Anonymous permalink

      why has no one look into what you are saying

    • ScottY permalink

      Lol….right. Tell you what I will be involved in…..hopefully with some meet up groups to take a look for mr smith. At the very least I plan on taking a drive to a few spots on kanan with some high powered binocs on Friday morning. I will report the mile markers I’ve stopped at. Good luck and Godspeed to tomorrows search party.

      Scott Y

  26. Edward permalink

    I believe the “friend” Mr. smith was “staying with” would have known if he was more depressed the evening of his disappearance. His financial problems could have overwhelmed him and led to thoughts of him ending his own life. I hope this is not the case.

    Questions: Why are we not shown more recent photos of Gavin Smith? This photo, I understand, was taken around ten years ago.

    It’s possible that his business associates know more about Smith’s mental state the days before he disappeared. Have his work colleagues offered any thoughts on his disappearance?

    The friend Mr. Smith was staying with may know far more about his mental state than she is revealing. She should be the focus of the investigation. She should relate what he said in conversations about his marital problems (if any) and his financial plight.

    I think the police need to conduct a very long interview with Gavin’s friend.

  27. I’ve been avidly following Gavin’s disappearance. While I am sorry for the grief the family
    is enduring…..I, myself, feel really sorry for Gavin! Who knows what motivated him to leave
    his family (even temporarily)…..I believe he may have been deeply depressed and possibly
    felt he was in a hopeless situation. Whether he met up with foul-play or had an accident or
    ended his life…..this man has my complete sympathy! I just sincerely hope
    that he is found alive! The volunteers who have shared their time and effort are truly
    great But……I would hope that a large reward would be posted SOON! Also, it would be so
    helpful if the family could get more media attention. Lastly, I’m sure the Police have plenty
    of info they must withhold at this point!! Holding good thoughts for the family and esp. for

  28. DAWN permalink

    Call helicopter pilot/reporter Bob Tur. He’s found a dozen missing people that the Sheriff couldn’t find, missing hikers, 9 missing aircraft the CAP didn’t find in the Sierras, and guy that needed a kidney near the Arizona border. He even knew where Steve Fosset (The adventurer missing in his small plane that became the biggest missing person search in history) was in an interview before the plane was finally found by a hiker. The guy’s psychic.

  29. carl permalink

    I spoke with Lost Hills Sheriffs department today at about 2:00. They said I had a good idea and told me of two similar cases. The ventura County Sheriffs Department is handling this case and Lost hills can not help unless you prove its in LA Co. Call Ventura search and rescue and ask for help they all care but most imporatnt thing to remember they will not exert any effort unless you have a lead. If you want to win you have to do it your self. The La County did say the cases they spoke about were finally solved by family members. The son found the father on one case and the mother hitred a helocopter to find the other. There are many wrecks in the canyons. If they have an “X” painted they have been previously located. good luck, take glucose, water and perdioltie with you just in case. Common sense all ways wins maybe he was texting or on the phone get cell phone records. triangulate the cell phone position. Lojack? Onstar The car is most likley in some thick brush, under a culvert its there.

  30. carl permalink

    Can you leave the beginning and ending of the route and the most likely way taken from beginnin to end.

  31. carl permalink

    A man was coming home from Los Vegas and phoned his wife to tell her he’d be home in thrity minutes. They arrested the wife as a prime suspect, released her but said she was the prime suspect. A good samaritin read about the story and traveled the same route home. The only place he could find where a car could have disappeared was crossing the Kern Aquaduct. He found small schards of glass mtaching the turn signals and head lights. No one ever looked in the aquaduct. Thw wife had to hire a diver to look for the wreck. The diver found her husbands still strapped in and found two other wrecks’. Retrace the normal way home on a bike or on foot.
    Good luck on your search.

    This is what also happened to the drummer of Iron Butter Fly and was found by german tourists in a deep canyon off decker canyon. He was there for several years and the accorn reported on his story.

  32. Anonymous permalink

    I’ll keep my eyes open for the family, this is heartbreaking. I work at Fox on Modern Family, I hope you find him alive and well. I will pray for you guys JE

  33. Gordon Van Tassell permalink

    Dear friends of Gavin,

    I propose that we meet as a group on the South-East corner of Piuma Road and Malibu Canyon Road (County HWY N1 on some maps) May 12th @ 7:00AM. There is parking on Piuma Road. Please be aware of all parking signs/laws.

    Malibu Canyon is very rugged, and can be strenuous and dangerous, please be prepared. Don’t become another person we have to search for. If you are not an experienced hiker, please sit this one out, there are other things that you can do. There is lots of poison oak, please look online and familiarize yourself with this plant. At this time of year it’s likely to be a solid green leaf without red margins. The temperature is likely to be in the high 70’s.

    **Please obey all traffic/pedestrian laws**

    **Please do not hike alone. Bring a “Buddy”**

    It is suggested that you bring:

    An attitude of hope and concern for Gavin
    Hiking stick, poles
    Good hiking shoes
    Long pants
    Cell phone
    GMRS or FRS two-way radio set to channel “4” no security code setting.
    Water **at least two liters**
    TOPO map
    Pad, pen or pencil

    See you at 7:00 AM!

    Gordon Van Tassell
    C 818-298-0246

  34. Ron Jacobs permalink

    Just a thought. Since the mailman go down pretty much every street, may they could be given the description of the car so that can keep an eye out for it. Maybe give it to all the post offices that are in the area Gavin was last seen and any other likely spots that he may have taken.

    Ron Jacobs

  35. Anonymous permalink

    A mans body was found off th e 210 in Angeles National Forest this morning but it has not been ID. Will keep everyone posted

    Forest Body, 1st Ld

    LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE (CNS) – A man’s body was found today at the side of Angeles Crest Highway in the Angeles National Forest near La Canada Flintridge, and a section of the roadway was closed in both directions while an investigation was conducted, authorities said.

    The body was discovered about 5:20 a.m. near mile marker 27.50, which is about three miles north of the Foothill (210) Freeway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

    A motorist saw the body near the side of the roadway and notified authorities. The man’s name and cause of death were not immediately released.

    CNS-05-10-2012 09:25

    • Simone Shouhed permalink

      The body was NOT Gavin’s police said!!

  36. Jaclyn permalink

    Please update if someone found the TAO of Santa Monica contact. More than one person thought they saw him there.

  37. DOS permalink

    It’s LASD (Los Angeles Sheriff Dept)’s jurisdiction. The station off Lost Hills is LASD.

  38. Elaine Baer permalink

    That’s what I think too JB. Lost Hills is right down the street for Oak Park.

  39. J.B. permalink

    Why is LA police haldling this case when Oak Park is part of Ventura County. Shouldn’t the Ventura County Sheriff’s Dept be assisting with this also?

  40. Anonymous permalink

    There’s no ‘Callwood’ Court’ in Oak Park. Do the police mean ‘Kellwood Court’. Would be helpful if asking people to help in search if gave map/ right starting point (general vicinity).

    • Anonymous permalink

      I agree, unless they are being purposefully vague.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Search for Gavin Smith Clues Shifts to Sylmar - FishbowlLA
  2. One Month Later, Gavin Smith’s Disappearance Remains a Complete Mystery - FishbowlLA

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