Lesley Messer
March 15, 2010 12:00 PM

On Feb. 25, the weeklong search for Andrew Koenig, best known for playing Richard “Boner” Stabone in Growing Pains, came to a terrible end when his body was discovered in a wooded area of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. “My son took his own life,” his father, Walter Koenig (who played Chekov in Star Trek), said. Andrew, 41, had struggled with depression throughout his life and, according to his sister Danielle, had stopped taking his medication. “He was very conflicted,” she tells PEOPLE. “There were different sides to his personality. But he was a great guy: incredibly thoughtful, a humanitarian and an activist. This isn’t the story of a bitter teen actor who recklessly lived his life and died.” While Danielle says things have been “rough” for her family, they have been comforted by the outpouring of fan support. “What I didn’t expect were the e-mails we’ve gotten from people who say [things like], ‘My daughter was thinking of taking her own life and this stopped her,'” she says. “If [Andrew’s story] helps someone, then it being public isn’t a waste.”

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