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Old 01-17-2006, 10:53 PM   #1
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Beethoven" Kid Star Feared Dead

How sad...

[q] "Beethoven" Kid Star Feared Dead

By Josh GrossbergTue Jan 17, 5:46 PM ET

The search continues for Joe Pichler, a former child actor who appeared in two Beethoven sequels, after his empty car was found abandoned Jan. 9 near a waterway outside Seattle. The vehicle contained what authorities believe could have been a suicide note.

Pichler, 18, was last heard from Jan. 5. According to published reports, he made a cell phone call to an unidentified female friend at 4:30 a.m.; he had been writing poetry and drinking alcohol with her earlier in the day.

His abandoned car was found four days later at an intersection above a stretch of water called the Port Madison Narrows, about 15 miles west of Seattle.

Inside the vehicle, authorities discovered a two-page note containing several poems and seemingly expressing suicidal thoughts. Pichler, who hails from nearby Bremerton, Washington, wrote cryptically about not being a good role model to his 17-year-old younger brother, A.J., and requested that his personal possessions be given to his sibling.

Investigators do not suspect foul play. But in a telephone interview with the Associated Press on Monday, Pichler's mom, Kathy, took issue with detectives for not probing all the evidence for possible leads that might solve her son's disappearance.

"They haven't fingerprinted his car. They sifted through it. They were in his apartment for about three minutes. They've done nothing," she said.

Kathy Pichler said she and other family members didn't believe her son's writings indicated he wanted to take his own life.

"There was no goodbye," she said.

She did say, however, that police tried to prepare her for the worst. She said one investigator told her: "I don't know how to say this to you without sounding really bad, but basically I think your son's dead, and it could take months for him to show up in the water."

A spokesman with the Bremerton Police Department, Robbie Davis, denied that police had concluded it was a suicide. He added that police had dusted Pichler's car for fingerprints, though he couldn't speak to the current status of the investigation.

About 150 people joined family and friends to comb the area where the young actor went missing, but no sign of him was found.

According to, Pichler began doing video and commercial work in Seattle at age 6. He moved to Los Angeles in the mid-'90s and landed his first big part in the 1996 Tony Scott thriller, The Fan, starring Robert De Niro.

Pichler's other credits include 1999's Varsity Blues and 2000's Beethoven's 3rd and 2001's Beethoven's 4th, the latter straight-to-video sequels in the comic franchise about a loveable Saint Bernard. He also starred in the 2002 family drama Children on Their Birthdays, based on a short story by Truman Capote, and made guest appearances on such TV shows as Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Touched by an Angel.

Pichler returned to Bremerton in 2002 at the behest of his mother and graduated from Bremerton High last year, but according to family members, acting was still very much on his mind.

"I just wanted him to have some normalcy in his life," Kathy Pichler told the local Kitsap Sun newspaper. "He's a good boy and took it well, but he wasn't really happy about it." [/q]

[q]This Christmas 2005 photo provided by the Pichler family shows former child actor Joe Pichler. Pichler, 18, who appeared in two of the 'Beethoven' comedies, was missing after leaving a note in his car expressing suicidal thoughts, relatives said. Well-wishers and relatives joined police, Kitsap County water search and rescue personnel and tracking dogs in unsuccessful efforts to find Pichler, since his empty car was found Tuesday, Jan.10, 2006, at an intersection above a narrow arm of water called the Port Madison Narrows. (AP Photo/Pichler family)[/q]

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Old 01-17-2006, 11:18 PM   #2
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I heard about it. He really doesn't look familiar to me at all.

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Old 01-18-2006, 11:57 AM   #3
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Old 01-18-2006, 12:28 PM   #4
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He doesn't look familiar to me either. Sad story tho.
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