'Growing Pains' star Andrew Koenig committed suicide, confirms father [Updated]
"My son took his own life." Walter Koenig, Andrew's father, said at today's press conference.
A private group of family and friends, including his father, discovered his body in a wooded area of Stanley Park around noon today. His father did not find the body, but he was nearby. Police were summoned to the scene soon after.
While foul play is not suspected, a police spokeswoman would not release an official cause of death pending a coroner's investigation.
"He was obviously in a lot of pain," his father says while holding back tears.
Both Walter and Judith Levitt Koenig reached out to those who are suffering from depression and hopes they learn from Andrew's death that there are people out there who care. Friends and family previously reported that the actor was severely depressed and had stop stopped taking his prescribed medication.
"And for those families that have members that they fear are susceptible to this kind of behavior," Walter Koenig says. "Don't ignore it. Don't rationalize it. Extend a hand."
The family asks that their privacy be respected at this time.
Koenig played Richard "Boner" Stabone, best friend to Kirk Cameron's character Mike Seaver on the late 1980s sitcom.
It had been 11 days since friends last saw Andrew Koenig on Valentine's Day (Sun. Feb. 14). He was reported missing Thu. Feb. 18 after missing his flight home to the L.A. area on Tue. Feb. 16. His cellphone was last used that same day. The Koenigs had arrived in Vancouver this past Tue. Feb. 23 to assist in the search.
They appeared on the "Today" show Wed. Feb. 24 to appeal for information on their son's whereabouts. A planned appearance on "Larry King Live" was delayed that evening and the Koenigs left in frustration without going on the air.
This past weekend, Andrew Koenig's friends and other celebrities took to Twitter, Facebook and blogs to let people know that Andrew was missing. Former costar Kirk Cameron released a statement on Mon. Feb. 22 expressing his concern for Koenig's well being and asking Koenig to contact him.
Friends revealed on record that in the weeks leading up to the Vancouver trip, Koenig sold or gave away his belongings, gave notice on his Venice apartment and paid his final rent.
Watch Walter Koenig, father of the late Andrew, at the press conference.
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Photo credit: Cawley Entertainment Company / Retro Film Studios