Hours after the body of actor Andrew Koenig was found in Vancouver , was found in Vancouver, authorities convened with his parents and the media to hold an emotional news conference depicting a massive search, a sad conclusion and a heartbroken family.
“My son took his own life,” Koenig’s father, “Star Trek” icon Walter Koenig, said between long pauses. “The only thing I want to say is — we’ve already said what a good guy he was and a good human being , and he was obviously in a lot of pain … for those families who have members they fear are susceptible to this kind of behavior, don’t ignore it, don’t rationalize it.”
In the days following Koenig’s February 14 disappearance, it was revealed that the “Growing Pains” star was classified by local authorities as “despondent,” that he had suffered from depression and had mailed a letter to his father before vanishing that gave the family cause for concern.
Although Vancouver Police Department spokesman Jana McGuinness confirmed that all signs pointed to suicide, she refused to disclose the manner in which the 41-year-old Koenig may have taken his own life. The police had done a thorough search of Vancouver’s enormous Stanley Park previously, but it wasn’t until the family organized a second search that the actor’s body was found.
“On February 14th, Andrew was last seen in the Vancouver area,” McGuinness explained. “On the 16th, he was supposed to return home down to California, but he didn’t. This caused his parents some concern and they called Vancouver police on February 18th and reported him missing. Our missing-persons investigators on the 21st of February offered a public appeal, asking for information from the public and for people to keep their eyes open. … On February 23rd, the Vancouver Police requested the assistance of three search and rescue teams to comb through Stanley Park; this is one of several places we learned that Andrew was fond of.
“No evidence of Andrew was found in the park that day — we were unable to locate any indication he was here,” she explained. “On February 24th, a day later, Mr. and Mrs. Koenig came to the Vancouver Police Department and made a public appeal. … On the 25th, sadly, at noon, Andrew’s body was discovered in the park by family who had initiated their own private search.”
Standing alongside husband Walter, actress Judy Levitt addressed her comments to others who may have loved ones battling depression. “There is help. They need help … don’t rationalize away anything; connect with each other,” she said. “He was much loved and he had much to contribute to this world. And we just want to leave you with that message.”