"My dad decided to leave the family," Gavin Smith's son Tweeted before the disappearance

By Ken Lee
Updated May 11, 2012 07:15 PM
Credit: Courtesy Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Could a troubled marriage have contributed to Hollywood executive Gavin Smith’s disappearance?

Ten days since the 20th Century Fox executive, 57, was last seen driving away from a family friend’s home, a more complex portrait of Smith has begun to emerge.

On April 14, Smith’s son Evan, 21, Tweeted a message suggesting that all was not well in the Smith household in the weeks leading up to his father’s disappearance.

“Thoughts and prayers out to my amazing Mom and bros plz,” the USC basketball player wrote. “My dad decided to leave the family last nite. Real family sticks together.”

The Tweet has since been taken down.

Evan later sought to clarify the message, telling E! News “They were not separated. They were just going through normal stuff couples go through.”

Family friend Larry Garrison tells PEOPLE: “There were marital problems with Gavin and his wife, but as his son conveyed to me, it was nothing out of the ordinary that the couple couldn’t work out.”

In addition, police have confirmed that it was a female friend’s home from which Smith went missing the night of May 1. Smith’s car was last seen leaving the house around 9 p.m.

“He was hanging out there for a couple days,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. John O’Brien tells the Daily Beast. “[But] there was no romance in that at all.”