Drake Bell missing and 'endangered' with cops issuing urgent plea for information about former child actor | The Sun
ACTOR Jared Drake Bell, one of the stars of the hit 2000s Nickelodeon show Drake & Josh, has gone missing as police worry he may be endangered.
Bell was last seen driving a 2022 gray BMW on Wednesday at around 9pm near the area of Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Florida, police said.
Details of what Bell was last seen wearing were not immediately made available by the Daytona Beach Police Department.
Daytona Beach police are asking anyone who knows where Bell is or has any information about his whereabouts to contact them at (386)-671-5207.
Authorities assured the public that their post was legitimate after questions arose in the comment section on Facebook.
Bell went silent on social media in the days leading up to his disappearance.
His last post came on March 6, where he shared an adorable reel of his son, Jeremy, who he shares with his ex-wife Janet Von Schmeling.
Bell first appeared on television at age five during an episode of Home Improvement.
He began working with Nickelodeon in 1999 on the comedy show The Amanda Show, starring alongside Amanda Bynes and Nancy Sullivan.
However, he rose to fame in 2004 when was landed the starring role as Drake Parker in Drake & Josh.
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The show revolved around two teenage stepbrothers, Drake and Josh Nichols, portrayed by actor Josh Peck.
The pair lived in San Diego, California, with Drake's younger biological sister Megan and mother, Audrey, and Josh's biological father, Walter.
Drake was considered the cool, popular, ladies man among the two teens, while Josh was the intellectual, clumsy and awkward one.
The brothers were often involved in various comedic adventures, handling teenage problems and bumping heads with Drake's sister Audrey.
The series received critical acclaim, with over three million viewers tuning into the show's premiere.
However, Bell has had his share of troubles since his heydays on Nickelodeon.
He most recently completed his probation over an attempted child endangerment case, to which he pled guilty.
Drake was arrested in Ohio in April 2021 for an incident that occurred years prior, in December 2017, where the actor was accused of sexual misconduct and grooming an underage fan.
The victim, who was 19 when she came forward, said the grooming began when she was 12.
She told an Ohio courtroom that her interactions with Bell became "blatantly sexual" after she turned 15.
The victim said Bell exchanged explicit photos online and engaged in sexual conduct with her on several occasions, including at a 2017 concert venue in Cleveland and at a hotel.
Bell kept silent about the ordeal for years, eventually pleading guilty in July 2021, and was sentenced to serve two years probation and 200 hours of community service in California.
BELL BREAKS HIS SILENCE ON CASE
The former Nickelodeon star broke his silence in an Instagram video explaining why he pleaded guilty to child endangerment charges.
Bell acknowledged his interactions with the minor were "reckless and irresponsible" but claimed he was "unaware" of her age and denied sharing explicit images or having any physical contact with the victim.
"Most of the news you've heard recently is entirely false and wrong," Bell began in the clip shared in September 2021.
"I feel that you deserve, and I owe you, an explanation.
"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."
Bell continued: "I responded to a fan whose age I didn't know yet when I became aware of their age, all conversation and communication stopped.
"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.
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"I want to make clear there were no sexual images, nothing physical between me and this individual," Bell said, adding that he wasn't charged with doing "anything physical" or "disseminating any photographs."
He went on to explain why he pleaded guilty, saying: "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."
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