Sawyer Sweeten was found dead on Thursday, and family members say the 19-year-old actor famous for his work in Everybody Loves Raymond committed suicide.
Sweeten was reportedly visiting family in Texas when he allegedly shot himself on the front porch of a home.
“Sawyer was visiting family in Texas. He went on the front porch and killed himself with a gunshot to his head,” a source told Radar Online, which broke the story on Thursday.
Sawyer Sweeten appeared on Everybody Loves Raymond along with his real-life siblings, his twin brother Sullivan and their sister Madylin. Sawyer and Sullivan were 16 months old when they first appeared on the show.
Madylin shared a note on Facebook hours after Sawyer’s death, telling fans, “I would like to encourage everyone to reach out to the ones you love. Let them have no doubt of what they mean to you.”
[If you are in need of help, call 1-800-273-8255 or click here for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.]
The family later released a longer statement, confirming that Sawyer Sweeten committed suicide.
“This morning a terrible family tragedy has occurred,” the Sweeten family said in a statement through manager Dino May.
“We are devastated to report that our beloved brother, son, and friend, Sawyer Sweeten, took his own life. He was weeks away from his 20th birthday. At this sensitive time, our family requests privacy and we beg of you to reach out to the ones you love.”
Sweeten was one of many child actors who apparently struggled with life as they grew older. Many other child actors have fallen into drugs and depression, with a number of them committing suicide.
Former child actor Lee Thompson Young took his life in 2013, and the following year family members spoke out about the demons the Rizzoli & Isles star had battled.
“In his late teenage years, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I noticed some periods of sadness and that stabilized quickly,” said his mother, Velma Love, in an interview with WFSB. “Some of a person’s inner life, you really don’t know.”
Young’s sister Tamu Lewis added that Lee often spoke to her about his depression.
“He would sometimes call me and say he was feeling a little sad again. It was always a quick recovery and I, too, feel that he was always concerned about us. He was always protective of us.”
Sawyer Sweeten left acting after Everybody Loves Raymond went off the air in 2005.
[Image via The Huffington Post]