Andrew Koenig's body found; 'My son took his own life,' father says
A tearful Walter Koenig appeared at a press conference Thursday evening to confirm that a body found earlier in the day in Vancouver's Stanley Park was that of his son, missing "Growing Pains" actor Andrew Koenig.
"My son took his own life," Walter Koenig said, wife Judy at his side.
Both parents and about 10 of Andrew's friends had returned to Stanley Park -- which at 1,000 acres is larger than New York's Central Park -- on Thursday morning to conduct their own search. They split into teams, Walter said, and after about two hours a call came from the other team saying that Andrew's body had been found. Walter and Judy then went to the site.
The Koenigs pleaded with others who might have depressed family members to recognize the signs.
Walter Koenig appealed to those who might be in emotional pain: "If you can learn anything from this, it's that there are people out there who really care, and you may not think so, and ultimately it may not be enough, but ... before you make that final decision, check it out again, talk to somebody."
Said Judy: "Don't rationalize away anything -- connect with each other if there's something that's bothering you, because there's love out there."The body was found off a trail in a densely wooded area, and "was unseen from the path," a police spokeswoman said. Police have no reason to believe foul play was involved, she said, and would not release a cause of death, as a coroner's investigation has been opened.
They appeared on the "Today" show Wednesday to ask for help in finding their son. A planned appearance via remote on "Larry King Live" was delayed by other news Wednesday, and the Koenigs left in frustration without going on the air.
Unknown to his parents, in the weeks leading up to his Vancouver visit Koenig gave away his belongings, gave notice on his Venice apartment and paid his final rent.
"It started off as a garage sale," a neighbor told People, "and eventually, he put everything out in front of the apartment, like he was giving it away." According to a friend, Andrew said he wanted to start over in Vancouver.
"The information we've gathered from friends and family was that Andrew was despondent and going through a low period in his life like many people do, so we are very hopeful for his safe return and that he comes out of this dark period safely," Vancouver police spokesman Const. Tim Fanning said earlier this week.
Photos: Walter and Judy Koenig, top, at the Feb. 25, 2010, press conference in Vancouver where they announced the discovery of their son's body. At left, missing persons poster for Andrew
Koenig is seen on a light pole in front of the Olympic Cauldron on
February 24, 2010, in Vancouver. Credits: Roger Hallett / The Canadian Press / Associated Press, top; Michael Heiman / Getty Images, left.
Related dispatch from the Ministry of Gossip:Growing Pains' actor Andrew Koenig is missing; son of Walter Koenig was last seen in Vancouver