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Police probe mysterious disappearance of Hollywood executive Gavin Smith

  • This undated photo, obtained from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, shows 57-year-old Hollywood executive Gavin Smith.

Police say suspicious circumstances cannot be ruled out in the mysterious disappearance of a Hollywood executive who was last seen more than a week ago driving his Mercedes-Benz away from a pal's home.

Gavin Smith, 57, who played basketball for legendary Coach John Wooden at UCLA in the 1970s, is a 20th Century Fox movie executive who lives in West Hills. Smith, whose son Evan, plays for USC, was last seen May 1 leaving a family friend's home in Oak Park, about 35 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, police said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whittmore told FoxNews.com that the disappearance is classified a "missing persons case," but said investigators have not ruled out foul play.

"We have no evidence of it" at this time, he said. 

Whittmore also said that authorities have not located Smith's black Mercedes with tinted windows. Smith was last seen driving away from his friend's home in the vehicle at around 10 p.m. the night he disappeared. 

Smith's family has since issued a desperate plea for his return, creating a website and Facebook page with constant updates on the search for him.

Evan Smith is using his Twitter page to ask for the public's help.

"SOMEBODY has to know something. Seen him. Anything. I need my Dad. Help me bring him home," Evan Smith tweeted Tuesday. 

Smith's wife, Lisa, reported her husband missing after he failed to pick up his youngest son to take him to school the next morning, according to local media reports. 

Smith was reportedly staying with a friend at the time of his disappearance -- not far from his family's home in an affluent community of West Hills -- but the reason remains unclear.  

Smith worked in the movie industry for 18 years and helped distribute blockbuster hits such as "Avatar" and the "Star Wars" trilogy. The executive, who is 6 feet, 6 inches tall, was also a member of UCLA's 1975 national championship men's basketball team.

"We are extremely worried about our friend and colleague Gavin Smith and are actively doing what we can to assist the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in their search for him," 20th Century Fox executive vice president Chris Aronson said in a statement. 

Smith is described by police as having gray hair with blond highlights, green eyes and a goatee. He was last seen wearing purple pants and black and gray shoes. 

His black 2000 Mercedes 420E has tinted windows and padded storage racks on its roof, with California license plate 6EKT044, according to authorities. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is being urged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS or visit the website lacrimestoppers.org

FoxNews.com's Cristina Corbin contributed to this report. 

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