On Tuesday, January 22, comedian, actor, and writer Kevin Barnett died while on vacation in Mexico. When the Inquisitr first reported on the Rel co-creator’s passing, an exact cause of death was unknown. However, authorities now know why the 32-year-old passed away.
The chief of the Forensic Medical Service told E! News in a statement that Barnett’s body was received at 5:50 a.m. on Tuesday from Tijuana’s Avenida Revolucion, which is a tourist area in the Mexican city.
After performing an autopsy, the agency determined that the cause of death was “non-traumatic hemorrhage, caused by pancreatitis.”
According to the Columbia Pancreas Center in New York City, pancreatitis is the “inflammation of the pancreas that occurs when pancreatic enzyme secretions build up and begin to digest the organ itself. It can occur as acute, painful attacks lasting a matter of days, or it may be a chronic condition that progresses over a period of years.”
As of Thursday, January 24, Barnett’s body was still in Mexico at the Forensic Medical Service’s offices waiting for his family to complete some of the necessary legal matters in order to transport his body back to America.
In addition to his work behind-the-scenes on Fox’s Rel, Barnett wrote scripts and/or served as a producer for television shows such as Broad City, The Carmichael Show, Friends of the People (which he also starred in), and Unhitched. For the silver screen, he worked on major motion pictures The Heartbreak Kid and Hall Pass. He also co-hosted The Roundtable of Gentlemen podcast.
He was much-loved by many of his fellow comedians, including Lil Rel Howery. The actor posted several tributes to his dear friend on social media.
“I was trying to figure out what to say but I can’t I’m truly heartbroken by this and just really hurt as the hours pass… So gifted and so dope and a true friend,” the Bird Box star wrote on Instagram on January 22.
The following day, Howery shared a photo of himself and Barnett all dressed up in gray suits, standing in front of an old-timey car, that he said was his “favorite pic” of them together.
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This is my favorite pic of me and @fatboybarnett but in all honesty this dude was brilliant and was a very hard worker… I’m thankful for him and Josh always putting in the extra hours to make sure every script was on point… Kevin was somebody I would always give shit to because it was fun and funny plus he had the same crazy sense of humor… Over the years we would have some hysterical dope convos and exchange crazy stories… I can’t stop crying on this plane it’s really starting to hit me that he is actually gone… At 32 he accomplished so much in this business and was respected by many… Rest In Peace my brother and my friend… Thank you for the last 6 years of helping make my dreams come true man… #FOTP4Life
His latest Instagram upload, posted on January 24, was a photo of himself, Barnett, and some of the other men who helped bring the sitcom Rel to life on the day that they sold the series to Fox.
“My friends are so talented and amazing and I’m glad I was able to tell Kevin how much I love and appreciate him,” he said in the caption.
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This is the day we sold the REL show to Fox… My friends are so talented and amazing and I’m glad I was able to tell Kevin how much I love and appreciate him.. I believe Jerrod started us to always tell each other we love each other hanging up the phone or even in person… My assistant @april_riles always found that to be amazing because she never heard guys say it as much as we did and meant it… Wasn’t weird just family… I’m sorry just going thru all these photos… #TBT #OneOfTheBestDaysEver #RIPKevinBarnett