Update: Sheriff's officials told the Los Angeles Times they have "significant amount of evidence" in the Gavin Smith case and that they are "moving forward vigorously."
In addition, their person of interest, convicted drug dealer John Creec–whose wife reportedly had a "relationship" with Smith after meeting him in rehab–remains behind bars, serving an eight-year sentence at Men's Central Jail.
In a related report from the Times, Smith's wife said she and her sons are "devastated" by news that investigators believe he was killed.
"My sons and I are devastated and this has been the hardest 10 and a half months of our life -- being without him," Lisa Smith said in a telephone interview with the newspaper. "We love him dearly. He's the love of my life and the father of my children and he is gone. It's a tragedy."
Update: Tara Smith Addeo, Smith's sister, told E! News that she isn't surprised that her brother's death was ruled a homicide.
"I don't think anything really prepares you for news when somebody you love so much has been killed at the hands of somebody else," she told E! News. "It's tragic when it's an accident, but when you know it's on purpose, it just has a whole new light to it. Where I was beginning to lose hope that Gavin would be found alive, it's still very, very difficult, because you just think that somebody is going to be around forever, that you're going be around all the time....So it's extremely upsetting."
Authorities announced today that the disappearance of Fox film executive Gavin Smith is being investigated as a homicide, although his body has not been found.
The 57-year-old former UCLA basketball player hasn't been seen since
leaving a female friend's home off Kanan Road in eastern Ventura County between 9 and 10 p.m. on May 1, 2012, in his black, 2000-model Mercedes-Benz 420 E, authorities said.
Sheriff's Lt. Dave Dolson said Smith's Mercedes was recovered on Feb. 21
at a storage facility in Simi Valley.
"The storage facility has been linked to John Creech, who is currently in custody at Men's Central Jail on an unrelated narcotics conviction,'' Dolson said.
Last June, a SWAT team and detectives raided a West Hills home owned by
Creech. The Los Angeles Times reported afterward that it had obtained documents that indicated sheriff's deputies felt an unspecified felony related to Smith's disappearance may have occurred there.
Smith had reportedly met Creech's wife, Chandrika Creech, in some sort of rehab therapy, according to the newspaper.
Dolson said today that after detectives found Smith's car, they served several search warrants in the San Fernando Valley "in furtherance of the investigation.''
"Based on the vehicle's condition and information developed from persons cooperating in the investigation, homicide detectives are now investigating this case as a homicide,'' Dolson said.
"Detectives are seeking the public's assistance in identifying the person or persons involved in moving Gavin's car from the Porter Ranch area in the San Fernando Valley to the storage facility in the Simi Valley on or about May 8 or 9, 2012,'' Dolson said.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau, (323) 890-5500.