Matthew Mindler, the child star who appeared in 2011's Our Idiot Brother, died by suicide — and his mother is speaking out about his struggle with anxiety.
19-year-old Mindler was a freshman at Millersville University in Lancaster County, Penn. He attended classes on Aug. 24 but was last seen at 8 p.m. that night — with surveillance video showing him leaving his dorm room and walking to a parking lot. On Wednesday, his family couldn't reach him, triggering a search the next day. A team of 40 people combed the area and the former child star's body was found Saturday in a wooded area in nearby Manor Township.
The teen's mother, Monica Mindler, told TMZ that her son struggled with "crippling anxiety" for years. He seemed OK prior to his death, enjoying his first week of college and keeping busy. Mother and son were in contact after he moved in on Aug. 19, and she said he met with an adviser about starting a campus computer/programming club and also scheduled a job interview with the IT department. He was also making friends.
She said their last text exchange was Tuesday night and she told him she planned to pick him up Friday to spend the weekend at home to relax, due to his anxiety struggles. She texted him on Wednesday morning but got no answer. She contacted his dorm for a wellness check and spoke to his roommate that night, but the roommate hadn't seen him. That's when Mindler was reported missing to university police, local police and National Crime Information Center.
Of her son's death, she said, "My heart is crushed and my mind cannot yet fathom this reality.”
After Mindler's body was recovered, Millersville University President Daniel A. Wubah told students that there was "no public safety threat to the university community," as they waited for the coroner's office to confirm the manner of death.
Wubah also called it a "time of grief for the family, our campus and the community," and provided contact information for support services available to students and staff.
On Tuesday, the school said it was "working with the family to determine a way to honor [Mindler's] life and bring attention to suicide awareness."
As our community comes together to grieve the passing of our student, Matthew Mindler, we continue to extend our thoughts and support to Matthew’s loved ones. The University is working with the family to determine a way to honor his life and bring attention to suicide awareness. pic.twitter.com/MJWnoCoTwX
— Millersville University (@millersvilleu) August 31, 2021
Mindler appeared in an episode of the soap opera As the World Turns before landing his role in Our Idiot Brother with a star-studded cast including Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks and Zooey Deschanel. He hasn't acted since 2016.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.