Friends Find 'Growing Pains' Actor Andrew Koenig's Body in Vancouver Park

Father near tears as he describes discovering son who had killed himself.

Feb. 25, 2010— -- Family and friends found missing "Growing Pains" actor Andrew Koenig's body in a Vancouver, British Columbia park, and his father said he 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."

'There Are People Out There Who Really Care'

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.

Parents Plead for Koenig

On Wednesday, Koenig's family made a public plea for the "Growing Pains" actor's safe return.

"You are loved, you count, you matter," Judy Koenig said Wednesday, addressing her son from police headquarters in Vancouver.

His father added: "I just want to know you're OK. If it means you just want to stay here, that's OK. You don't have to come back. Just let us know that's your intention."

"We think he's probably in a very depressed state," Judy Koenig told reporters.

Walter Koenig told the media his son, who played Richard "Boner" Stabone on the 1980s sitcom "Growing Pains," stopped taking anti-depressants a year ago.

Asked if Koenig might try to hurt himself, Walter Koenig replied, "I think it's almost impossible not to explore that as one of the options."

Then, with tears welling in his eyes, he added, "There are so many people out there who really care about him."

Koenig's parents went public with their concern for their son earlier this week when they appeared on "Good Morning America" and the "Today" show. Koenig's sister Danielle appeared on CBS' "The Early Show" and "Larry King Live."

Koenig was reported missing by his parents Feb. 18.

Vancouver police said he was visiting friends in West Vancouver when he disappeared Feb. 14. He did not show up for his return flight to California two days later.

That same day, Feb. 16, Walter Koenig received a letter from his son, which concerned him because of its "despondent tone."

"He's been depressed," he told ABC News. "He's trying to get ahead in this business and he's been working at it a long time."

Koenig largely dropped out of the spotlight after playing the role of the goofy sidekick to actor Kirk Cameron's Mike Seaver on "Growing Pains." After several smaller movie and television roles, he found work as a video producer and editor.

Koenig's Long Battle With Depression

Lance Miccio, who has known Koenig for seven years and collaborated with him on multiple projects, said Koenig's depression was "something he dealt with."

"He faced it, didn't shirk it," Miccio told "He received treatment for it. It was a day-to-day thing that was woven into his fabric. It never affected his work. Maybe he was a little more grouchy than usual. But he was able to deal with it.

"I don't think anything happened," Miccio said. "There was no trauma. It was just something he dealt with."

Koenig's father concurred on his Web site, where he has been posting information about his missing son.

"I think it's something that has been a part of his makeup for a long time. There's no single trauma. There's no episode. There's nothing of that nature," he wrote.

He added "drugs were not an issue."

Miccio said Koenig wasn't married, but dated.

"He had an active social calendar," he said, "and was extremely close to his family."

But it appeared that his family and friends were not aware until after he left for Vancouver that he may not have planned to return to California.

Miccio said Koenig sold or gave away all of his possessions, gave 30-days notice to the landlord of the Venice, Calif., apartment that he rented for 14 years and told a mutual friend that he was going to Vancouver to "start over."

While Miccio was out of town, Koenig dropped off a bag of belongings and gifts at Miccio's door.

"He hooked it on my doorknob -- a plastic bag of video tapes and stuff we had worked together on. Even gifts I had given him," Miccio said. "He just returned everything with no note or anything."

Judy Koenig told reporters the last time she heard from her son was when he left a message on Feb. 8 or 9 asking how she was recuperating from recent surgery.

Longtime friend Jenny Magenta, who was the last to see Koenig in Vancouver, said he came to stay with her Feb. 10, after visiting mutual friends in Toronto. She last saw him on the evening of Feb. 14.

"That night I went to bed and in the morning he was gone," Magenta said.

She said Koenig left a note that said simply, "Thank you, Andrew."

ABC News' Jason Stine contributed to this report.