Friends Find 'Growing Pains' Actor Andrew Koenig's Body in Vancouver Park
Father near tears as he describes discovering son who had killed himself.
Walter Koenig, an actor best known for his role as Chekov on "Star Trek," appeared near tears as he sat with his wife before reporters in Stanley Park and described being called to a nearby part of the park where searchers had found the body of their 41-year-old son.
"I went to the site," Walter Koenig said. "My son took his own life."
Koenig's body was found in the "Bridal Path" area of the park, Constable Jana McGuinness, a spokeswoman for the Vancouver Police Department, told reporters. It was not visible from the path and had been missed during a police search of the area Tuesday.
"Sadly, at noon, Andrew's body was found in the park by family and friends who had initiated their own private search," she said. "Our investigation is continuing but the British Columbia Coroner's Service will now take it from here."
Police had searched the park because, McGuinness said, "we learned that this is one of several places [in Vancouver] that Andrew was fond of."
McGuinness would not give details on the circumstances of Koenig's death, but noted, "Foul play is not suspected in this case."
Walter Koenig and his wife said they were speaking to the media in hopes of helping other people who, like their son, suffer from depression.
"I've been receiving an awful lot of e-mails, hundreds of e-mails from people who say they were depressed," Koenig said. "The only thing I want to say is if you're one of those people who feel that you can't handle it anymore, if you can learn anything from this it's that there are people out there who really care. You may not think so and ultimately it may not be enough, but there are people that really, really care.
"Before you make that final decison, check it out again; talk to somebody," Koenig added. "And for those families who have members who they fear are susceptible to this kind of behavior, don't ignore it, don't rationalize it, extend a hand."
"Don't rationalize away anything," added Andrew Koenig's mother, Judy Koenig. "Connect with each other if there is something that is bothering you, because there is love out there.
"He was much loved," she said of her son. "He had much to contribute in this world, and we want to leave you with that message."
Walter Koenig's Web site Thursday evening memorialized Andrew Koenig as an "actor, director, writer, producer, editor, activist," and, "a compassionate, ethical man who lived according to his conscience."
"A beautiful human being, Andrew died in his favorite city, filled with friends, in a park he loved," the Web site said.
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