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Hollywood producer who vanished and resurfaced in Mexico: ‘I am an addict’

Eric Kohler

This undated photo provided by the Los Angeles Police Department shows Eric Kohler, 27. 

(Associated Press)

A Hollywood visual effects producer who went missing last month before resurfacing in Mexico said in a statement Sunday that his disappearance was caused by an “emotional and physical breakdown” that was brought about, in part, by addiction.

In a post on his Facebook page, Eric Kohler wrote, “I am an addict." 

“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,” he wrote. “This emotional and physical breakdown caused me to desert the people I care for and most importantly care for me.”

Kohler, 27, said he is seeking professional treatment for an unspecified form of addiction.

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Kohler had been last seen leaving work at Vitality Visual Effects in Gardena about 4 p.m. on Nov. 24. He left without his wallet, laptop or other personal belongings. After he did not come home for Thanksgiving, his family reported him missing.

His disappearance set off a frantic search, with friends, family, co-workers and strangers using the hashtag #FindKohler on social media.

Family members told the Bay Area NBC affiliate KNTV-TV that Kohler never missed work, especially because he had been working on a major project with a strict deadline.

“He had big ambition to work hard and that’s what he’s been doing and something bad happened,” said his mother, Sheryi Kohler.

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Los Angeles police had launched a search for Kohler and said from the outset that foul play was not suspected. 

Police located him about 10 days later in La Paz, Mexico.

Kohler wrote in his Facebook statement that his disappearance generated “so many questions, so much confusion and an unfortunate amount of heartache,” and he thanked those who offered help and support.

“Words will never be able to fully articulate the gratitude and appreciation I have for everyone who got involved,” he wrote. “It’s such a blessing to see how many people actually do care.”

Kohler’s post was shared by hundreds on Facebook, including his mother and his sister, Kristina Loren.

“I am so incredibly proud of my brother. His vulnerability and courage is inspiring,” Loren wrote.

Kohler’s work appears in several films including “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Looper” and “San Andreas.” His latest projects were “The Revenant” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” and “Midnight Special” starring Kirsten Dunst.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

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Times staff writers Veronica Rocha and Jerome Campbell contributed to this report.


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