Child actor Matthew Mindler killed himself with sodium nitrate he bought on Amazon during his first days at university, according to his devastated mother.
On Thursday toxicology tests from the Lancaster County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled 19-year-old Mindler’s death to be suicide by sodium nitrate toxicity.
In August he bought the substance, most commonly used to cure meats, for $15 on Amazon, and died from extreme low blood pressure and lack of oxygen in the body, according to TMZ.
Sodium nitrate-related deaths are often accidental since the compound is frequently used to preserve meat, but Mindler’s mom said that based on undisclosed evidence her late son had left behind, the overdose was intentional.
Mindler’s grieving mother Monica Mindler told TMZ that her son’s recent Internet search history showed he was looking into ways to take his life painlessly.
Matthew Mindler (pictured), 19, killed himself with sodium nitrate he bought on Amazon for $15. Lancaster County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Mindler’s death to be suicide by sodium nitrate toxicity
The child actor was last seen in security footage (pictured) walking from the West Villages residence hall toward the Centennial Driver parking lot at around 8.11pm
Although she noted that she knew son suffered from ‘crippling anxiety,’ she had no clue suicide was something he had been researching.
Mindler, from Hellertown, Pennsylvania, was found dead in Manor Township – near Millersville University, where he was a student – on August 28 after he was reported missing four days earlier.
According to the Millersville University police, Mindler, a freshman, was last seen on campus on Tuesday night after attending classes Monday and Tuesday. He was spotted in security footage walking from the West Villages residence hall toward the Centennial Driver parking lot at around 8.11pm on Tuesday.
As seen in a screenshot from security video, the student was wearing a white Millersville University hooded sweatshirt with black stripes on the arm, a black face mask, dark-colored jeans and sneakers. He was carrying a black backpack.
He was reported as missing the following night on Wednesday, after failing to return to his dormitory room and skipping classes.
Campus police filed a missing person report with the National Crime Information Center on Thursday.
His mother told TMZ that he had kept in constant contact with him during his first days at the college, but that she lost contact with him on Tuesday night.
Mindler died by suicide in his first days as a freshman at Pennsylvania’s Millersville University (pictured)
Mindler’s grieving mother Monica Mindler said she knew her son had ‘crippling anxiety’ but didn’t realize the extent. She said that during his first days on campus he met with an adviser about starting a campus computer programming club and also had an upcoming job interview with the IT department
She said he had been busy during his first days on campus, saying that he had met with an adviser about starting a campus computer programming club.
He also had an upcoming job interview with the IT department, Monica told TMZ, and said he was making friends.
The pair last exchanged text messages on Thursday, she said, and she told him that she would pick him up on Friday so he he could be at home to relax for a few days.
But when she texted him on Wednesday morning, the messages went through as texts instead of iMessages, suggesting his phone was off or unreachable.
When she became worried about her son, Monica told the news outlet that she contacted the university for a wellness check, and spoke to his roommate on Wednesday. She was told no one had seen her son and that people were worried.
By Thursday, she drove to the campus and got the police involved in the search. On Saturday, he was found dead near the campus.
‘It is with a grieving heart that I let you know of the death of 19-year-old Matthew Mindler from Hellertown, Pennsylvania, a first-year student at Millersville University,’ the statement obtained by TMZ read.
Millersville University President Daniel Wubah sent a letter to the students addressing Mindler’s disappearance.
‘Matt’s health and safety are paramount and I know our thoughts are with him, his family and friends,’ Wubah it read.
‘Our police department is continuing efforts to locate Matt in conjunction with regional law enforcement agencies. They are following every lead and appreciate your attention to this effort.’
Mindler’s IMDB page lists eight acting credits in films and television shows, including in the 2013 short Frequency – directed by his older brother, cinematographer Derek Mindler.
Mindler’s (pictured left and right with Paul Rudd) IMDB page lists eight acting credits in films and television shows but he has not acted since 2016
Mindler (pictured in a scene with Emily Mortimer) played Mortimer’s son River in Our Idiot Brother
His biggest role to date was in Our Idiot Brother, which followed Rudd’s character, an idealistic farmer who upends the lives of his three sisters – played by Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer.
Mindler portrayed Mortimer’s son, River.
Midler has not acted since 2016, when he appeared in the TV movie Chad: An American Boy.
For confidential support in the US – call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255.
For confidential support in the UK – call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.