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August 29, 2021

Former child actor Matthew Mindler found dead near Millersville University

Best known for playing River in "Our Idiot Brother," the Hellertown native was a first-year student at the college in Lancaster County

Investigations Missing People
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Matthew Mindler, a former child actor from Hellertown known for his role in "Our Idiot Brother," was found dead near Millersville University. A first-year student at the university, Mindler went missing Aug. 24.

Matthew Mindler, a former child actor known for his role in the film "Our Idiot Brother," was found dead Saturday near the Millersville University campus in Manor Township. He was 19.

A Hellertown native, Mindler was a first-year student at Millersville University and had been missing for several days. University President Daniel Wubah said Mindler's body was taken to the Lancaster County Forensic Center for investigation. His cause of death had not been disclosed as of Sunday morning. 

"Our thoughts of comfort and peace are with his friends and family during this difficult time," Wubah wrote in a note to the Millersville University community. 

Mindler attended his classes on Monday and Tuesday but didn't show up to classes on Wednesday or Thursday, according to a post on Millersville University's Facebook page. He was last seen around 8 p.m. Tuesday walking from his residence hall, West Villages, toward the Centennial Drive parking lot area.

Mindler's family reported him missing Wednesday after they were unable to contact him. University Police collaborated with other law enforcement agencies in the area in the search for the 19-year-old.

Millersville University on Saturday said there was "no public safety threat" to the campus community in connection to Mindler's death. In his statement, Wubah shared a list of counseling resources for students and employees.

This is a time of grief for the family, our campus and the community," he said. "I ask that the campus community come together to support each other, and our students, during this difficult time."

Mindler's acting career dates back to 2009, when he appeared in an episode of the series "As the World Turns." Two years later, he had a role in "Our Idiot Brother" alongside Paul Rudd, Zooey Deschanel and Elizabeth Banks.  

"The young actor played River, the son of strict parents played by Emily Mortimer and Steve Coogan, whose controlling nature makes it difficult for River to express himself," Entertainment Weekly wrote.

Mindler went on to land roles in two short films and an episode of "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver." According to IMdb, his last acting appearance was in a 2016 TV movie called "Chad: An American Boy."