Eric Kohler, a VFX producer who had worked on The Avengers and X-Men franchises, has broken his silence after he went missing for over a week in late November.
Kohler – who went missing after he left work on Nov. 24 in Gardena, California, but was found safe over 1,000 miles away in La Paz, Mexico, on Dec. 4 – said in a Facebook message posted on Sunday that his addiction caused his disappearance.
“Three weeks ago I disappeared,” the 27-year-old wrote. “As a result of my unconscious selfishness in a downward spiral it caused what I can only identify as a frenzy. There were so many questions, so much confusion and an unfortunate amount of heartache. However, within all of the chaos and insanity, there was also a miracle. I witnessed support from family, friends, loved ones, coworkers and people I’ve never even met before. Individuals from every corner of the country and even across borders united as one to create a support group during a period of my life that I wasn’t even aware I needed.
“My name is Eric Kohler and I am an addict,” he continued. “The actions that led up to the events unfolding over these past few weeks are not my proudest moments. Addiction is a serious issue that I clearly recognize now. Through a state of exhaustion fueled by the stress and high expectations that were put on me, and the life I chose, my addiction escalated and I mentally snapped. This emotional and physical breakdown caused me to desert the people I care for and most importantly care for me.”
Kohler did not specify what led to his disappearance or the nature of his addiction but said that “the details do not matter, the repercussions are mine to live with.” He added that he was currently seeking treatment at a “facility for my addiction.”
“I want to use my story as an example of a positive outcome,” he wrote. “Those of you struggling and thinking no one cares, reach out to those around you. You will be pleasantly surprised to realize how much we, as humans, are capable of. I unfortunately had to figure this out in the hardest and most selfish way.”
Kohler’s disappearance sparked a national search and his parents initially said they suspected that “something bad happened” before he was found.
“I know my son would never do this,” his mother, Sheryi Kohler said. “He had big ambition to work hard and that’s what he’s been doing and something bad happened.”
“I am a devastated dad,” his father, Tony Kohler added. “I want my son back; I want him to come home. I can’t find him.”