THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Police say 'Growing Pains' actor Koenig found dead

By Jaime Aron
Associated Press Writer / February 26, 2010

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Former "Growing Pains" actor Andrew Koenig was found dead Thursday in a wooded area of a sprawling downtown park where he enjoyed spending time, apparently after committing suicide.

The actor's father, Walter Koenig, said "my son took his own life," and police spokeswoman Jana McGuinness said, "I'll let Mr. Koenig's words speak for themselves."

"He was obviously in a lot of pain," Walter Koenig said, referring his son's lifelong depression.

McGuinness, speaking at a press conference at the park, said foul play was not involved, but said she could not be more specific because the coroner was taking over the investigation.

Andrew Koenig, 41, had a recurring role on the 1980s sitcom as Richard "Boner" Stabone, a pal of star Kirk Cameron's character, Mike. The native of Venice, California, hadn't been seen since Feb. 14, while visiting friends in Vancouver.

He was supposed to return home two days later. His parents reported him missing Feb. 18, then asked the public for help finding him a few days later.

On Tuesday, Vancouver police and three search-and-rescue teams looked for any signs of Koenig throughout Stanley Park, which covers more than 1,000 acres (400 hectares). Friends and family decided to try again on their own Thursday and one of them found Koenig's body near a marsh in a heavily wooded area about 100 feet (30 meters) off the Bridle Path. McGuinness said the body could not be seen from the walking path.

The elder Koenig, who played Pavel Chekov on the original "Star Trek" TV series, was nearby when the body was found. Hours later, Koenig and his wife, Judith, issued a statement at a police station in the park.

They said Andrew had been depressed, and had said earlier that he had given away his belongings and had been off his medication. They urged others who are having trouble coping to seek help.

"If you are one of those people who can't handle it any more, know people are out there who really care before you make that final decision," Walter Koenig said. "Talk to somebody."

Koenig had said he that his son had cleaned out his apartment in Los Angeles, a city where he felt like he didn't belong. Koenig did not know his son planned to move to Vancouver, which is what Andrew told friends before he disappeared.

Andrew Koenig also appeared in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "My Two Dads," and "G.I. Joe," and the films "NonSeNse," "InAlienable" and "The Theory of Everything." His father has praised his son for his acting, film editing and directing work, and said he was also a busy environmental activist. He also was an advocate for refugees from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

In 2008, Koenig was arrested during the Rose Bowl parade in California while protesting China's support for Myanmar's military government.

He came to love Vancouver after shooting a TV episode there, and once lived there for three years.