A child star vanished without a trace in the early morning hours of January 5, 2006. Joseph Pichler, 18, left a party in Bremerton, Washington. When he left the get-together, friends said he was in good spirits. That was the last time anyone ever saw him. His Toyota was later found parked behind a Mexican restaurant.
Joe had been acting since he was a child, and starred as Brennan Newton in the third and fourth installments of the Beethoven movies. He had parts in The Fan, When Good Ghouls Go Bad and a storring role in Varsity Blues. His co-stars spoke highly of him.
“He was really sweet,” James Van Der Beek told People. “And he was really, really good. I was inspired by him.”
Jesse Plemons, who starred with Joe in Children on Their Birthdays, said: "He knew the names of everyone on the crew, took time to get to know them, and he was everyone’s friend."
After spending several years working and living part-time in Los Angeles, Joe returned to his hometown to finish up high school where he created a mock television show with his friends and deejayed at his school's radio station. He had a pet guinea pig and enjoyed playing the card game Magic, The Gathering. He lived the a normal teen life, but he had big plans to return to Hollywood after his braces were removed to continue acting.
There was no indication of foul play, murder or suicide, though police did theorize that he may have committed suicide by jumping off a bridge.
His family struggles with the mystery of his vanishing. They have stated that police have given them the impression that Joe is dead.
“I wonder, ‘Is he hurt? Is he afraid?'” said his mother, Kathy Pichler. “I won’t ever give up looking. Until my baby is found, life won’t ever be okay.”
[The Charley Project and Youtube]