Parents Ask Public to Help Find Andrew Koenig

02/24/2010 AT 08:10 AM EST

In his first network TV interview since his son Andrew Koenig's Feb. 14 disappearance, Walter Koenig appeared on Wednesday's Today show with an appeal to viewers for help in finding the former Growing Pains actor.

"It's very, very tough," said the anguished father, 73, himself best known for playing Pavel Chekov on Star Trek. Describing Andrew's state of mind at the time he vanished, Walter Koenig said, "He was very depressed … about his life."

Speaking to PEOPLE from his Los Angeles home at the time Andrew, 41, disappeared – he was last seen at a bakery in the Stanley Park area of Vancouver, British Columbia – Walter said, "He sounded despondent … He went to visit some friends in Toronto and after there, he went to Vancouver. It’s a place where he felt very comfortable. He lived there for a few years."

On Today, Water and his wife, Judy Levitt Koenig, said they are trying not to think that the worst might have happened to their son, that he has somehow hurt himself.

"He is much loved and beloved in this world, and I just hope he gets that feeling," says his mother.

As the Koenigs also say on Walter's Web site to those who might have information about Andrew: "PLEASE contact Detective Raymond Payette of the Vancouver PD at 604-717-2534."

On Tuesday, Vancouver police said they "are still hopeful that Andrew will be found alive." So far, they also said, they have received "a substantial amount of tips and information" in the case, and that various "investigative avenues are being checked and re-checked."

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