Gone too soon. Jansen Panettiere‘s family is speaking out one week after his death at age 28.
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“Jansen’s heart could be seen in his eyes, and his charm in his brilliant, engaging smile; his soul in his masterful and revealing paintings, and the joy of life in his dry wit,” read a statement from his mother, Lesley Vogel, father Skip Panettiere and sister Hayden Panettiere to ABC News on Monday, February 27. “His charisma, warmth, compassion for others, and his creative spirit will live forever in our hearts and in the hearts of all whom he encountered.”
According to Jansen’s family, a cause of death was determined. “Though it offers little solace, the Medical Examiner reported Jansen’s sudden passing was due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications,” the statement continued.
The Heroes alum, 33, and her parents went on to thank those who have reached out with their condolences in the wake of Jansen’s passing. “We sincerely appreciate the outpouring of love and support towards our family as we navigate this unthinkable loss, and ask that we be gifted our privacy during this time of mourning,” they noted. “We love you so much, Jansen, and you will be in our hearts forever.”
Us Weekly confirmed earlier this month that Jansen died at his home in Nyack, New York, on Sunday, February 19. According to a police report, a friend grew concerned after Jansen didn’t show up to a business meeting. He was found “sitting upright in a chair unresponsive,” and his pal called 911. There were “no obvious signs of trauma,” per the report, and Jansen was pronounced dead after first responders attempted CPR.
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Jansen and Hayden’s father told police that he had spoken to his son one night prior, adding that he “sounded OK” during their conversation.
Weeks before his death, the New York native shared a photo with Hayden via Instagram. “Not the first haircut she’s tried to give me,” he teased in the caption.
In the black-and-white pic, the Nashville alum smiled mischievously as she stood behind her little brother with a pair of scissors in hand. Jansen gave the camera an apprehensive look.
The Scream VI star has yet to address her sibling’s death apart from the Panettiere family’s statement. His girlfriend, Catherine Michie, shared an emotional tribute in his honor on February 20.
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“Jansen, I met you only a year ago, but you have been my best friend and biggest fan,” she captioned a carousel of Instagram photos. “I will never forget the first time I saw your face and the first things you said to me. Words cannot express the pain of knowing I won’t hear your laugh again. I hope you find peace, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you needed me most.”
She continued: “The world is better because you were in it. I know we will paint together again someday. I’ll always be your sugarpop. Someone wake me up and tell me this is a dream.”
Ahead of his death, Jansen frequently showcased his artwork via social media. He previously followed in Hayden’s acting footsteps, nabbing his first role on Disney Channel’s Even Stevens and joining his sister in 2004’s Tiger Cruise.
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Jansen’s final role was on a 2019 episode of The Walking Dead, in which he played Casper, a member of the Hilltop Colony.
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