Actor Jansen Panettiere’s sudden cause of death has been revealed by his family.
The younger brother of Hayden Panettiere died suddenly on 19 February at the age of 28.
Law enforcement officials were allegedly called to his New York home at around 5:30pm, according to reports.
At the time, no further details had been released.
Now, a week later on Monday (27 February), in a statement shared with ABC News, the Panettiere family opened up about his death.
“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,” they wrote in a joint statement.
“Though it offers little solace, the Medical Examiner reported Jansen’s sudden passing was due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications.”
Continuing, they said of Jansen, who was five years younger than Scream and Nashville star Hayden: “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.
“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,” the family concluded. “We love you so much Jansen and you will be in our hearts forever.”
Just three weeks before his death, Jansen had posted a black-and-white photo of his sister giving him a haircut on Instagram.
“Not the first haircut she’s tried to give me,” his caption read.
Jansen is described as having followed his older sister’s footsteps into the entertainment industry. He was best known for voicing characters in Ice Age: The Meltdown and The X’s.
His on-screen roles included the Nickelodeon film The Last Day of Summer and AMC’s fan-favourite series The Walking Dead.
Jansen is survived by Hayden and their parents, Lesley Vogel and Skip Panettiere.