Skip to content


The scheduled search this weekend has been canceled. Read More.

We are still encouraging people to get out and continue assisting in the search. Please use caution when walking on any trails or high brush areas. Beware of your surroundings as the temperature is climbing and rattlesnakes are native to our locale. We appreciated your continued support.

Any other information can be emailed to

  1. what has been searched in the KANAN CYN area – I would be willing to help + search, but it would be helpful for everybody to know, what area was already covered/searched!!
    Also dates on the postings would be helpful, so we all know where we stand.
    Tina 6/5/12

  2. Linda Vallejo permalink

    I was hijking and searching in Malibu Creek off Mulholland yesterday. Malibu emergency units on bikes and horses were ther training e but most of them had not even heard about Gavin, including a ranger. I was surprised as there was a large number of people on training units. My friend and I searched up to the MASH set about 3 mi in and told everyone we encountered. Where can I get flyers?

  3. Anonymous permalink

    Hey this is cousin John, am here for you guys, physically, mentally and spiritually. I am praying for your Dad Daily.
    John Cobrae

  4. Hi Barbara
    Great to meet you yesterday
    Yes we covered from Piuma Rd. to the west end of the M. Canyon tunnel yesterday. Gordon will go out again Tuesday. To any joining him, bring gloves and a light long sleeved shirt. We were calling it a poison oak forest yesterday! It is everywhere, so be prepared.
    Ditto hugs to the family
    xxxx Jill

    • Barbara Bean permalink

      Greet to meet you too! So sorry we didn’t find him. I hope more people will join up and search, and even just go hiking and do their own searches. Gavin needs people, on the ground, to look. It is a large area and the going is slow. My plea to all of you able and in the area, start looking in Malibu canyons, Topanga and Kanan. Maybe the Sierra Club could get hikers together? Anyone a member?
      Jill, I have over a dozen good photos from yesterday. Send me an email and I will send them to you. Jim, Gordon, if you are reading here, drop me a line and I can send you the photos.
      Please call me for any searches you are doing. I will help.

      Barbara Bean

  5. 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.

    • Henry permalink

      If Gavin is still alive in some ditch why aren’t you calling the helicopter pilot? Or are you hoping prayer will work?

  6. Barbara Bean permalink

    Elaine, as you know by now, we did not find Gavin on the Malibu search, but because the terrain was so difficult, we did not get as far as we intended. Plans are already in place to return and finish. We saw many of your fliers when we returned to our cars, and I saw a young hiker reading one of them before I drove away 🙂
    Barbara Bean

  7. Elaine Baer permalink

    I have called Henry Schleiff from Discovery Channel’s Disappeared show. I have also emailed a private detective Ken Brennan, who is known to solve very complex difficult cases. Maybe they will respond.

  8. Elaine Baer permalink

    We have put fliers up and down Kanan Canyon in Malibu. Thank you for your tips tk, they were very helpful. How did the search go of Malibu Canyon today?

  9. LFC permalink

    I live in Las Vegas, NV. Is there any reason he might come here? If so, any ideas? I would be happy to check out any place. Just let me know. It honestly would be no bother.

  10. I agree plus Malibu is important..anyone going over the canyon may have seen something..his car parked, who knows…so the Malibu area should definitely have posters up….especially of the CAR.

    You need to find the’s easier than finding the person and the clues from the car will lead, hopefully, to the person…and why haven’t they found the car. This is the most puzzling….where is the dang car!?!

  11. Linda Vallejo permalink

    Usually within a 25 mile radius. Check Stunt Rd. Always strange stuff going on there. Bring the bloodhounds of SARS

  12. Linda Vallejo permalink

    Also look on Stunt Road!

  13. Anonymous permalink

    I agree. Taking Kanan down to Avenida De Los Arboles, to the 23 is actually a popular route out of Oak Park. Considering the last “ping” was in Sylmar…shouldn’t the focus be on the Sylmar area, rather than the Malibu Canyon area?

    • Just because the cell phone ping was there doesn’t mean he used it…they are concentrating on the canyons because 1, if he’s there, time is of the essence…he must be found asap. 2, since the car is missing it’s logical to look at places where cars disappear…I’m sure there are police who have been notified of the car in Sylmar and will report should they find it…that’s why they are focusing in the canyons…because if he went over, it explains why they can’t find the car and he needs to be found and get medical attention immediately…

  14. Anonymous permalink

    I live in Calabasas and heard the reports and feel so bad for the family. There were some reports of the last pings being on May 1 at 4:30 in Sylmar. Has anyone checked the 23N to the 118 corridor? Just thought it w/be worth mentioning, for what it’s worth.

  15. Multiple Fronts.
    I’ve been up and down all canyons, including Big and Little Tujunga. I flew back and forth above Kanan yesterday. I can’t help but feel this needs to be expanded. While we still need to keep moving locally, we need to expand. Whether the claims of sighting Gavin (Santa Monica, Morro Bay, San Francisco) are valid or not, how could we not pursue them? Keeping in mind that Gavin loves the ocean, and still firmly believing he would never leave his family, how could we not look up and down the coast. We should email the missing notice to all friends up and down the coast and have them put them up everywhere. We may get 1000 erroneous tips, but we only need 1 accurate tip. Just my idea.

    Van Hohman

  16. New Jersey Friends permalink

    Has the possibility of entrance into Mexico or Canada been completely eliminated? There would be records of the car crossing the border by way of documentation, would there not? What about parking lots by ferries to Canada? Could the car be there? Perhaps Gavin just needed to get away for a bit – life can sure get overwhelming at times. Foot search of the Canyons is clearly in order – having lived in the area myself for nearly three years, the brush density renders it impossible to “spot” a car from afar. I think the tri-County Sheriff’s department should enlist crews of minimum security prisoners so that they can man crews to systematically cover more ground. What about bringing in consultants like retired Sheriff Grover Trask of Riverside? Brilliant man – a cop’s cop. Someone I’d sure want involved in an investigation if my family member had disappeared. Every night we pray for the Smith’s and for Gavin – before we go to bed and as soon as we wake up.

    • Yes, it’s been mentioned…they do have video and I”m sure the borders are notifed of vehicles that are missing because often people take stolen cars over the border to have them torn apart. But he may have been long over the border before they even knew he was missing but odd that HE’D head there without anything…someone else may have taken the car’s about 2.5 hours south of where he was last seen. I doubt Canada is an option.

  17. Seth Dudley permalink

    Dear friends of Gavin,

    Dr. Gordon Van Tassel will be leading a search of Malibu Canyon tomorrow (Saturday) morning, May 12th. The group will meet on the South-East corner of Piuma Road and Malibu Canyon Road (County HWY N1 on some maps) @ 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!

    If you have any questions, contact

    Gordon Van Tassell
    C 818-298-0246

  18. Linda Vallejo permalink

    I will be going out hiking in the area tomorrow also. Let us all keep praying that he is safe.

  19. Elaine Baer permalink

    Gavin’s family and friends:
    My husband Jim and I are going to plaster Kanan Canyon this afternoon and look on foot for Gavin with a GPS and binoculars. No disrespect intended, but I would not rely on the Commerce Sheriff’s department to leave their offices more than once or twice to look. Our prayers are also with you during this horrendous ordeal.. I’ve also thought that these basketball players should unite this Saturday with Dr. Gordon and help look for Evan dad. We are running out of time.

    Elaine Van Tassel- Baer

    • Elaine, having lived in those canyons for a long time make sure you don’t look IN the won’t see anything…you have to look for broken tree tops or broken bushes, things like that…they found a mother and child that way.

      Also in the dirt along the shoulder…there are tire tracks all over but look for ones that go towards the canyon and don’t stop…I doubt he is some other information I’ve read here but who knows? Someone else could have used his cell phone for that early morning ping on like you I think walking the canyon is the best idea…also, a person was found once by a tiny piece of car…take a couple of small plastic bags with you to put anything that could possibly be evidence. Pick it up using the bag – not your hand of course…you never know and that doesn’t weigh anything to carry.

      Good luck (I’m out of town right now) and BE CAREFUL…that road is treacherous for anyone attempting to walk it…If someone else is going they should carry a sign “HAS ANYONE SEEN GAVIN” people who go over those canyons back and forth are good resources..I used to drive them every day to and from work. Someone just driving home or to work might have seen the car..

      ALSO make sure this information gets to MALIBU where people may have been going if they went over the canyon that night and saw his car on the side of the road, etc. People may think “oh he didn’t go there” but that’s not the point…people who DID go there that night might have seen his car..on the shoulder, etc. So Malibu is an important area for posters.

      My step-father, step-brother are cops, I was a private detective….MUCH GOOD LUCK…and be careful.

      • PS I meant tire tracks in the dirt…I doubt there would have been any on the road..also who knows..if he was there for any reason…and they made him go into the canyon by any means or for any reason, he may have tried to drop something small as evidence…anything…receipt, anything you might randomly have in your pocket…

  20. Anonymous permalink

    How can I help ? Your dad is in my prayers

  21. Linda Vallejo permalink

    I am praying for your Dad and all of you. In the case of Mitrice Richardson several of us went with search nd rescue teams. Sheriffs brought SARS dogs and also a drone aircraft brought in recommended by Chelsea King’s dad. She was a student found murdered in San Diego. This is vital in these canyons. I am praying that your father will be found safe.

  22. Hello,

    Keeping positive thoughts!
    I am interested in helping aid in a search for Gavin
    or helping form a group, passing out
    flyers, or whatever would be of help!
    I would want the same for my Dad.
    Let’s bring him home ❤

    • alice Burke permalink

      I would like to help in the search. Where are the people going to meet? I live in Santa Barbara
      I would drive down to where ever they need help. I want to find Gavin!

  23. Pamela permalink

    My thoughts and prayers are with Gavin and his family.

  24. Elaine Baer permalink

    I agree, my girlfriend went over Kanan and for three days had to fight her way up to the road with a broken arm. I’m up for searching with a gps. I’ll get a hold of you. Sis

  25. Anonymous permalink

    My husband is a talk show host @ ksco Radio I will have him send out the info on the air today.
    If its foul play he could be anywhere.

  26. Anonymous permalink

    I’m In Northern Ca. I will keep my eyes open for the tag and car. Praying for Mr. Smith.

  27. Anonymous permalink

    On May 8th around 5:30 PM in Hancock, Maryland there was a man walking east towards interstate 70 that looks similar to the photos I am seeing. It could be anyone from anywhere, but thought I’d let you know. He caught my attention as I was doing my nightly banking after work and this person caught my attention. He was not someone I had seen before in this little town in northern Maryland.

  28. I sorry to here of this, the family is in my prrayers. I am from the san fernando valley, west hills area and I know that people can disapear there in those canyons, please check malibu canyon and the topanga canyon areas. back in the late 70’s the lead singer for Iron butterfly disapeared on his way home from work, he was married to a family member of mine at the time, for years they thought foul play but back in the late 90’s they spoted his green car at the bottom of one of the canyons not even where he had been last seen. I hope they check this info out.

  29. johnon1212 permalink

    If he drove from Vegas to LA area then it is likely he used a credit card to get gas. That charge on the credit card would indicate about how much gas he bought and from where. Then it can be determined how much gas was left in the tank when he left the house. That narrows down the search area.

    Another idea, if he was at all despondent (still don’t understand why he was staying at a friends house), check the ocean rest stops, beach parking lots, etc. Guys tend to drive towards the ocean to figure things out.

    Fox should spring for a helicopter to do an air search of the canyons, etc.

  30. Anonymous permalink

    I am so sorry to hear about your dad missing, I hope they find him soon. Random questions… Were your parents separated? Were either of your parents seeing other people? How well do you know the people he was staying with? There has to be something that someone close to him (family,friend, or maybe someone he confided in in Las Vegas on his business trip) knows that could help provide potential clues. You have to go on National News…Nancy Grace or something.

  31. will thurston permalink

    Having graduated and played baseball with gavin, this is hard to see what his family is going through. Evan, I have been a cop for 37 years, retired lapd now a detective in carson city nevada. Ensure the flier is sent by laso to their fusion center. It will then be sent to all states and all law enforcement agencies in each state. Stay strong

  32. I will help in a car or foot search Van Nuys class of 70 and UCLA 74

  33. Anonymous permalink

    My thoughts and prayers are with this family. I work not far from the Agoura location and I am constantly on the lookout for the car with that lic.plate, Please keep the faith and may god be with you!

  34. Allyson Dalley permalink

    We (several friends and myself) are praying for your family. Thats the best I can do from Fort Worth, but Lisa, if I were there I would be looking day and night to help you. Love, Allyson

  35. Has anyone called those shows like Nancy Grace or Jane Mitchell….someone he knows or works with must have contacts there – there are rarely shows of men missing….beautiful family…this is just like the stories they do.

  36. Oak Park (to Anonymous) is an area of Agoura…it’s just north or Calabasas and south of Westlake.

  37. Has the family done a locate on his phone? I know there are locating applications for the iphone.

  38. PFA permalink

    I’m over here in Pacific Palisades, and will certainly watch for him on the Westside. He has such distinguished looks that he should be very recognizable. Your Dad looks more than fit enough to take care and protect himself. God Bless.

  39. Liz permalink

    I live far away on the east coast so can’t help with a physical search but I have been praying for you since I heard about this and I will not give up praying for Gavin’s safe return. It never leaves my mind.

  40. My daughter and I taped flyers in windows at fast food restaurants and gas stations, as well as gave them to management at grocery stores (Ralphs, Rite-Aid, CVS, etc.) on Kanan in Agoura Hills. This location is very close to where Gavin was last seen.

  41. Anonymous permalink

    I am a local and grew up in the area of his disappearance so I know the area very well. If any assistance is needed, please feel free to contact me at

  42. Holly permalink

    I’m glad that the media has started to update his last location….there is no street called “Callwood” in Oak Park…it’s “Kellwood!” I can’t imagine what it would be like to not know where my Dad was. I live in Oak Park about a mile away from where he was apparently last seen. If there is anything I can do to help (ie., search group)…please e-mail me.

  43. Anonymous permalink

    Is there any way we can get this missing person information and his picture on the local and national news?

  44. Susan Armour Kaufman permalink

    Posting your links on facebook….


    Here’s another picture and some more information regarding Gavin. We’ve run the story on

    Hang in there Smith family – and please, please let us know how we can help with flyers and search parties. I don’t mind coordinating and Kevin will be meeting a group of his friends tomorrow to compile a list of people who may be available. Ellie and Kevin Reese

  46. Anonymous permalink

    are there any search groups getting organized?

  47. Anonymous permalink

    I think you should post a map with the last known location. I know California well…lifelong resident…and don’t know Oak Park. My brother as a teenager drove off a mountain cliff with his friend who was badly injured, had my brother not been able (barely) to pull them up the cliff in the dark I doubt they wd have ever been found given where they were. They both were OK after hospitalization.

    I think it’s weird the PD hasn’t put out a map so more people can be out looking in a specific locale. And also the map should indicate likely route (s) of travel.

    Praying he is found OK and soon.

  48. Kathy permalink

    Praying for you Gavin and your family. ~Kathy

  49. Lyn C permalink

    I am sure the police have thought of everything but is there no signal from his cell phone? No clue from an incoming call on his cell phone that night? Who “saw” him drive away? Could someone from Vegas have followed him? I haven’t seen these points covered in the news.

  50. I will be in Calabasas this week closing up my Mom’s apt. Let me know if I can do anything, and I will do my very best to be there for you.

    Reply here, and I will keep checking the site

    X Jill Freeman

  51. Ron Jacobs permalink

    Evan, I’ve read that there are flyers to be passed out and posted, I am available if you need any help handing them out. Just let me know. My number is 818-292-3936.

    Ron Jacobs

  52. Lyn C permalink

    Has anyone checked the roads he would have driven that night looking for skid marks or broken guardrails or plants in case he drove over a cliff or down an embankment? I know at least one other case when family found a missing man that way. Praying for him to be found safe soon!

    • Thanks for the post Lyn. I don’t believe his destination was known. I know the Lucas family searched Kanan on Saturday.

  53. Rich Fox permalink

    I want to find him. Help with filling in this info. What was his demeanor leaving the house in Oak Park? Where did he say he was going? Had he been drinking? Where does the cell phone ping last put him? Did his car not send a signal if it had crashed? What was the last credit card or atm use?

    • Gordon Van Tassell permalink

      Dear friends of Gavin.

      I have been frustrated and anxious that there has been no organized, systematic, documented search of the canyons around Oak park, namely Topanga, Kanan and Malibu. I personally checked every inch of Malibu Canyon from the road with high-powered binocculars and came to the conclusion that it would be impossible to see a car in the dense brush-even from the air. I’ve concluded that the only way to find my friend is to explore Kanan, Topanga and Malibu Canyon by foot.

      After 8 days, I know that some of you are convinced he’s not alive, but from a physician’s point of view the facts are that Gavin is an extraordinary human being, muscular, fit, in top physical condition.

      ****If anyone could survive for a week trapped in a vehicle it would be Gavin****

      I propose that we search Malibu canyon this Saturday morning by foot and eliminate this area as a possible location for Gavin and his car. If you have a radio or maps, bring them. When that’s done and documented, we should move on to the next location. If there are enough interested people, I will announce a gathering place and.

      If you have any compelling information that Gavin may have been in another part of L.A, other than a “hunch”, let me know now.

      I want to do anything I can to find our friend. Let me know if you want to help.

      Gordon Van Tassell

      • Yes Gordon I suggested that a few days ago… having lived in Calabasas and Malibu I’ve said cars go over the canyon and aren’t found until the winter when the leaves thin out…You can’t LOOK IN THE CANYON and you can’t LOOK FROM THE ROAD or even with a helicopter. It’s been done and peole have been missed time and again…I’m basing this on experience – I’ve seen it happen. The other day I suggested but your wife said “my husband searched with binocculars” but that won’t work……every car I know of that’s been found has been found because someone noticed the broken bushes…or broken tree tops…where the car went over…I tried to explain this the other day. Looking into the canyon or from the road will NOT WORK. You have to look for broken tree tops, bushes etc. There may not be skid marks and as you know there are tire tracks all over the place in the dirt along the side…but cars have been found in the past but from the broken brush. Maybe you could look just one more time?

        A few years ago a film producer went missing in the desert. They looked and looked…finally a Private Detective WALKED along the road (a long way) in the desert and found a TINY piece of the car. TINY. As it happens the man fell asleep, his car when into the arroyo but the guard rail was in tact…the only clue was this tiny piece of car that never would have been found with binoculars or driving – it only was discovered by walking.

        I have been proposing people WALK THAT CANYON ROAD. You must find the car..(or a piece of the car) the car can’t just disappear. And it’s easier to find maybe. And I agree – there IS STILL TIME but TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE….fortunately it hasn’t been that hot…

        IF you get a clue…or if something looks suspicious let me know…I have access to aircraft. (I charter aircraft for a living) but just to fly over randomly..a pass once or twice wouldn’t ‘hurt’ and I’m hoping the police have helicoptered it at least once but I’m telling you, in the passed they have done this and MISSED.

        What I’m saying is based on history and truth…not just a wild guess. Please walk the canyon…get an SUV “chase car” with water…or so people can rest occasionally if need be. It’s steeps. Topanga is almost impossible … it’s dangerous to walk (well, they are all dangerous but Topanga cannot be walked – my car broke down once there and I was almost killed walking for help) But KANAN..that’s where I would start…..Let me know if I can help…

      • Sorry, terrible typos…

      • Anonymous permalink

        I couldn’t agree with you more Gordon – Kevin and I are in. I’ll start printing fliers now. He’ll call you.

      • Gordon I am there, tell me where and when. I will also post it on my FB timeline for other schoolmate friends of Gavin to see. I will bring a cooler full of water bottles too.
        Thank you for making this happen

        Jill Freeman

      • Carla permalink

        Where is the gathering/search this morning??

      • Barbara Bean permalink

        Gordon did get a group of us together today and we scoured a very rugged part of the Malibu canyon. Another group was going through parts of Topanga Canyon. We did not find Gavin on our search, but we did find parts of another wrecked car and took down the license plate. The terrain is extremely rugged and hard to go through. Steep canyon walls, rocks, water, poison oak everywhere, and thick brush. We are confident he is not in the area we were able to get to today. Hoping the Topanga search group has better news. We will be going out again, I hope more of you can join us.
        Hugs to the family,

        Barbara Bean

    • T.O. Lover permalink

      If he was in OakPark, his office in Calabasas was pretty close by. Wonder if for some reason he went to his office and something happened there???

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Update On Gavin Smith: It’s Not A Homicide Investigation « CrimeAlertBlog.Com
  2. JTGSocial.Com Blog - Update On Gavin Smith: It’s Not A Homicide Investigation

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: