Neil Hope, also known as Derek "Wheels" Wheeler, from the TV show Degrassi High died from natural causes on Nov. 25, 2007, in Hamilton, Ontario. He was 35.
That's so bizarre to wait almost 5 years to acknowledge his death.
I just read that today too - such a bizarre story - why did it take the family 5 years to reveal that he died?
Jesus fucking christ. For some reason, this saddens me much more than Whitney or Gary Carter's death. I grew up with the original Degrassi and had a little crush on Wheels. He was my pretend bf. He didn't look terribly well when he appeared on the new Degrassi series a few years ago for Snake & Spike's wedding.
"Natural causes" at age 35? Hmm. More to it, I bet.
Five years, actually.
How do you hide a death for that long without it being reported?
Well there goes the reunion tour ...
He should have saved his money. Unfortunately the kids were ripped off. They only got paid three thousand per episode.
But what about the Leg Man?
TORONTO - Former child star Neil Hope, who played Derek (Wheels) Wheeler on the long-running youth series "Degrassi," died alone in a Hamilton rooming house in 2007, said former fiancee Christina Boulard on Thursday, as details of the troubled actor's final years emerged.
Boulard said family members had spent years trying to track down Hope's whereabouts after hearing rumours of his passing several years ago, but only learned the truth last month from Hamilton police.
She said he died on Nov. 25, 2007 of "natural causes" but refused to explain further, only saying Hope was diabetic.
Boulard expressed frustration over the bizarre case, saying: "We are mourning right along with you guys."
"I have a lot of anger inside me because of the way this was handled by the Hamilton police," said Boulard, who lives in the southern Ontario city.
"Who do I blame? Do I blame the person in the rooming house that didn't tell anybody? ... How does that work? Did they just say, 'Oh, look he's dead. Let's wait a while until somebody claims them and then bury him.' Did they not even bother to look in a phone book, to read on the Internet?"
Hamilton police said a spokesperson was not available to comment.
Boulard said she last saw Hope in 2002 when he lived in Windsor, Ont., and didn't know how he ended up in Hamilton. She said it was not unusual for him to cut ties with friends and family from time to time.
Congenital heart problems?
He apparently died alone in a rooming house. According to his ex-fiance.
this made me sad - no one even noticed he was gone for 5 years.
Wasn't he on Degrassi the Next Generation?
I think he was almost bald, and I laughed at the fact that Wheels, Joey, and Snake, were all bald.
What is Degrassi High?
Here's an interview Stefan Brogren (Archie) did with Neil in 2005, 2 years before he died.
This happens a lot, especially for people receiving social assistance, the cheques go into your account automatically, the rent and bills come out automatically, the landlord has no reason to believe you are not still alive and well.
Happened in my building, took months before anyone came around to check in on him and by then he had been dead in his bathroom for about 6 months they estimate.I've heard of cases where they are found for years .
I'm sorry to hear of this young man's death. Was DeGrassi High the fictional school where weird things kept occurring? I watched this show once or twice when I could find it on TV for the GORGEOUS teacher they had. Everyone went to him when the weirdness began.