Well-wishers, friends and relatives have joined police, Kitsap County water search and rescue personnel and tracking dogs in unsuccessful efforts to find Pichler, 18, since he was reported missing and his empty car was found parked last Tuesday at an intersection above Port Madison Narrows.
Inside the car was a note in which he wrote about wishing to be a "stronger brother" and asking that his belongings go to one of his younger siblings, Matthew Pichler. Also included were a few poems.
More than 150 people joined in the search Wednesday, and dozens more helped comb the area on Saturday.
"We're kind of at the, `OK, what do we do now?' stage," his mother, Kathy Pichler, told the Kitsap Sun.
"I don't know how we're going to thank all these people," she said. "They've done way more than I've ever imagined."
Joe Pichler, as he was billed in screen credits, was born in Bremerton and landed his first acting job in Seattle at age 6 in a commercial for the Bon Marche, now part of the Macy's chain.
He moved to Los Angeles and appeared in "The Fan" in 1996, "Varsity Blues" in 1999 and the third and fourth installments of the "Beethoven" family comedy films in 2000 and 2001. His TV guest appearances include parts in "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," "Touched By An Angel" and "Mad TV."
He returned to Bremerton to live full-time in 2002 at the urging of his mother and was graduated last year from Bremerton High but never lost his passion for acting, she said.
"I just wanted him to have some normalcy in his life," she said. "No, he probably never really wanted to come home ... he's a good boy and took it well, but he wasn't really happy about it."
For all that she said he seemed generally satisfied and blended in, giving up stage appearances after he decided he preferred television.
"It wasn't like a big change because I always worked to make sure he had the normal stuff," she Pichler said. "We always kept him really grounded. He's always been a regular kid with a job a teenager wouldn't normally have."