Drake Bell has been found safe hours after he was declared ‘missing’ and ‘endangered’ by police in Florida.
The actor, 36, was last seen at 9pm on Wednesday near Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, driving his 2022 grey BMW.
Daytona Beach Police Department earlier said he was thought to still be traveling in the vehicle.
Around 1pm Eastern time, authorities said that they were ‘in contact’ with Bell.
Bell was seen in public on Tuesday during a trip to Sea World with his son, reports TMZ. A fan told the site that he approached Bell to tell him that he was a fan. The person said Bell was ‘nice and soft-spoken, but seemed fine.’
The child star’s disappearance comes after years of erratic behavior including multiple DUI arrests and pleading guilty to charges of attempted endangering [of] children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles for which he received two years probation.
The latest: Drake Bell has been declared ‘missing’ and ‘endangered’ by cops in Daytona Beach
Drake Bell, 36, known for his role on Drake & Josh and The Amanda Show, appeared to be sucking on a balloon in the front seat of his parked car in December last year
After a while, Bell could be seen grabbing his son from a car seat in the back
In January, Bell reportedly entered treatment weeks after he appeared to be sucking on a balloon in the front seat of his parked car for more than thirty minutes outside his home – with his son in the car.
Soon after, the star and his wife Janet Von Schmeling, also an actress, split up, with the latter moving to Florida with their son, Jeremy.
The former child star was then seen on Friday running errands in his Los Angeles neighborhood, driving to a local vape shop.
He was seen entering the store on his own, wearing a black t-shirt and black pants with black sneakers, before emerging several minutes later with a black shopping bag.
In December, DailyMail.com revealed exclusive pictures of Bell, best known for his role on Drake & Josh and The Amanda Show, inhaling inflated balloons in the front seat of his parked car outside his Los Angeles home.
Wearing a basketball hat and a pair of sunglasses, he was seen inflating and deflating the pink balloon for more than half an hour.
The actor was later seen taking his sleeping young son out a car seat in the back and bringing him into the house.
It is unclear what, if any, substance was inside the balloons.
The incident came as Bell, born Jared ‘Drake’ Bell, served a two-year probation for endangering a girl’s welfare when she was just 15.
Bell was sentenced in July 2021 to two years probation and 200 hours of community after pleading guilty to child endangerment charges.
Daytona Beach Police Department said Bell was last seen traveling in a 2022 grey BMW near Mainland High School just before 9pm on Wednesday
Bell had been sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service on child endangerment charges relating to a girl who met him online and attended one of his concerts in Ohio when she was 15 (Pictured in his June 2021 mugshot)
Authorities said a 15-year-old girl attended one of Bell’s concert in Cleveland in 2017 and contacted Toronto police in October 2018 about being sexually assaulted.
Toronto authorities then forwarded its findings to Cleveland police, prompting an investigation.
They found that Bell and the girl had ‘developed a relationship’ online prior to the concert, during which Bell sent the girl ‘inappropriate social media messages.’
He was later charged with attempted endangering a child because he ‘violated his duty of care’ and created a risk of harm for the victim, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Tyler Sinclair explained at the time.
The victim claimed in her impact statement that she performed oral sex on the star.
‘These are crimes that are unforgivable and inexcusable,’ she said. ‘They cannot be taken back. He was calculating, he preyed on me and sexually abused me. He is a monster and a danger to children.
‘I’m kindly asking you to send a powerful message that these crimes are never okay, no matter who a person is.’
She added: ‘And he can give me that look all he wants but he knows exactly what I’m talking about.’
‘He is the epitome of evil. I deserve better than to be used for his sick desires, and for my suffering to be used for his amusement. Jared Drake Bell is a pedophile and that is his legacy.’
In response, Bell said: ‘I just want to say today I accept this plea because my conduct was wrong.’
He added: ‘I have taken this matter very, very seriously. I just want to apologize to her and anyone else who may have been affected by my actions.’
Shortly after his sentencing, it was reported that the star and his wife Janet Von Schmeling (left) ‘separated’ and were ‘headed to divorce’
During his sentencing, his attorney made clear he had not been charged with the more serious crimes of sexual assault and pedophilia that the victim alleged in her impact statement.
Bell pleaded guilty to felony attempted child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
But months later, he tried to downplay his conviction in an enigmatic Instagram video.
‘Most of the news you’ve heard recently is entirely false and wrong,’ he said.
‘I know that this has moved very quickly for you, but for me, it’s been a three-year, thorough investigation into every false claim that has been made.
‘And, it’s not me telling you that the claims are false, but the state of Ohio has proven the claims to be false.
‘If these claims were remotely true, my situation would be very different. I would not be here at home with my wife and my son.’
He added: ‘But that being said, I am not perfect, and I make mistakes.
‘I responded to a fan, whose age I didn’t know, yet when I became aware of their age, all conversation and communication stopped.’
The I Know singer continued: ‘This individual continued to come to shows and pay for meet and greets, all while I was unaware that this was the same person I was communicating with online, and that’s what I plead guilty to.
‘It was reckless and irresponsible text messages. I want to make clear there were no sexual images, nothing physical between me and this individual.’
Bell starred in Drake and Josh alongside Josh Peck, who played his stepbrother
Bell, left, was also a star on the Amanda Show, a sketch style show starring Amanda Bynes
He added: ‘I was not charged with anything physical. I was not charged with disseminating her images or anything like that. This was strictly over text messages.
‘And when I was presented with a plea deal, because of the messages, I felt that this was the best way to get this over quickly, and for everyone involved to be able to move on. And for me to get back to doing what I love, and that is making music for you.’
‘I want to thank you, for um, to everyone who saw through the lies and did the research and looked at my case and saw it for what it was instead of all this media confusion.’
He concluded: ‘Don’t believe the media right off the bat. It’s a lot of clickbait. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions. I just want to say thank you to everyone for sticking by me. I love you and I’ll see you soon.’
The former child star was sentenced to four days jail time in 2015 for driving while intoxicated, which was his second DUI conviction in a six-year time period.
Read the full article here
Discussion about this post