May 17, 2012 / 4:47 AM / 6 years ago

Family cancels weekend search for missing Hollywood executive

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The family of a Hollywood executive reported missing more than two weeks ago called off on Wednesday a major search planned for this weekend after consulting with authorities.

Relatives of Gavin Smith who had initially asked the public to help look for him also canceled a round of media interviews they had been scheduling for Friday.

Smith, 57, a film distribution executive for 20th Century Fox, was last seen on May 1 driving away from a friend’s home in the community of Oak Park, north of Los Angeles, in his black Mercedes.

“After consultations between the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the Gavin Smith family, it has been decided that there will be NO search this weekend,” Howard Bragman, a crisis public relations expert hired by the family, said in a written statement.

“There is not a specific area of defined interest to make this effort productive at this time,” Bragman said, adding that the interviews were canceled because “we simply have no news” to report.

Police have issued a missing-person bulletin for Smith - also known for playing on UCLA’s final national championship basketball team under legendary coach John Wooden, in 1975 - but have so far turned up few clues to his disappearance.

Smith was last seen wearing purple pants and black and gray shoes and has gray hair and wears a goatee

Smith’s son, Evan, a forward for the University of Southern California basketball team, has told Reuters that his father has not used his credit cards or cell phone since vanishing and was too responsible to have left his job and family without a word.

The Hollywood executive is one of two missing men from the Los Angeles area to have made headlines in recent weeks.

Authorities have also have been searching since Saturday for an FBI agent who they fear may have hiked into the foothills north of Los Angeles, armed with a handgun and bent on suicide.

Stephen Ivens, a 35-year-old special agent who works in national security for the FBI’s office in Los Angeles, was reported missing on Friday morning by his family.

Investigators say they have found no evidence of a crime in Ivens’ disappearance but note that Ivens’ gun was not found at his home, suggesting that he had taken it with him.

Authorities have not said what they believe was troubling Ivens, who has a wife and young son.

Editing by Steve Gorman and Philip Barbara

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