Jansen Panettiere’s cause of death has been determined.
A statement from the actor’s family confirmed he died from an enlarged heart. “Though it offers little solace, the Medical Examiner reported Jansen’s sudden passing was due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications,” his family — mother Lesley Vogel, father Alan Lee “Skip” Panettiere Panettiere and sister Hayden Panettiere — said in a statement obtained by ABC News.
“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,” the family continued. “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.”
The statement concluded, “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. We love you so much Jansen and you will be in our hearts forever.”
The actor, who was the younger brother of Nashville star Hayden, was found dead in New York over President’s Day weekend. He was 28.
In a police report obtained by PEOPLE, a friend of Jansen’s told officialshe’d checked on Jansen at his apartment after he’d failed to show up for a business meeting. Upon arrival, finding him “sitting upright in a chair unresponsive,” first responders were called. They eventually pronounced him dead.
The report also noted that Jansen’s dad, Skip, had spoken to his son on the phone just the night before, and thought he “sounded okay.”
Jansen was five years younger than Hayden and also pursued a career in Hollywood. His film and TV roles from the early 2000s included appearances on Even Stevens, The X’s, Tiger Cruise, Racing Stripes, The Martial Arts Kid, The Walking Dead, Perfect Game and How High 2. He’d make his last on-screen appearance in the 2022 holiday film Love and Love Not.
In addition to acting, he was also passionate about art. He maintained an Instagram account full of colorful portraits and abstract pieces, transferring some of his designs onto clothing and footwear for sale.