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The family of computer whiz Andrew Fluegelman, whose abandoned...

TIBURON, Calif. -- The family of computer whiz Andrew Fluegelman, whose abandoned car was found next to the Golden Gate Bridge, is convinced he is dead, but close friends are not so sure and police only say he is missing.

The California Highway Patrol found the car July 6 on the north side of the bridge. There was a note in it. But detectives refused to disclose its contents.

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Fluegelman's mother, Evelyn, reached at her White Plains, N.Y., home, told reporters that a memorial service was held for him on Sunday. His wife, Patricia, also contacted at her in-laws' home, refused to comment.

Tiburon Police Chief John Bailey would only say: 'The gentleman is missing, and I'm not going to comment any further.'

Fluegelman, 41, a Yale Law School graduate and editor of the PC World and Macworld computer magazines, suffered from colitis and had been taking medication which may have caused severe depression, Dave Bunnell, PC World publisher, said.

But, Bunnell said, 'It's possible he could be alive. I understand there are cases where someone's left a suicide note and then shown up later.'

And coworkers said Fluegelman never showed any signs of depression.

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'On paper he'd be the least likely person to commit suicide,' Harry Miller, editor of PC World and a close friend, said. 'He'd only been married about a year. PC Talk (Fluegelman's software communications program) was very successful. He had been doing well in PC World.'

The Brooklyn, N.Y., native was practicing law in San Francisco when he 'just got tired of it all' and was asked by a friend, Stewart Brand, to edit the countercultural Whole Earth Catalogue during the late 1960s, Bunnell said.

Fluegelman worked for Brand for a short time and then quit to start his own book-packaging firm. He later sold it to New York publishers. His credits include books on sushi, football and the Grateful Dead musical group.

Bunnell said that, while co-authoring a book about computers, Fluegelman invented PC Talk, a communications program. Bunnell said he then started a competing magazine, PC World, a guide to IBM personal computers, and asked Fluegelman to become its editor-in-chief.

Bunnell said he was 'trusted' in the industry and 'was the key to the success' of both PC World and Macworld with a combined circulation of 480,000.

Fluegelman became co-founder of PC World Communications, Inc., the parent company to the two magazines.

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