Hayden Panettiere & Family Break Silence On Her Brother Jansen’s Death: ‘In Our Hearts Forever’

The 'Heroes' actress mourned her brother's death at 28 with an emotional statement honoring her only sibling.

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Hayden Panettiere paid tribute to her late brother Jansen after he died at 28. The Remember The Titans actress, 33, released a statement to ABC News alongside her mother and father to honor her late brother after his unexpected 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 said.

The family continued and highlighted some of the many qualities that they loved about Jansen. “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,” they said. “We love you so much Jansen and you will be in our hearts forever.”

Towards the end of the statement, the family also thanked fans for all the messages of love and support that they shared with them. “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 said.

Jansen’s death was first reported by TMZ. He reportedly died over the weekend of February 18 and 19 in New York. A cause of death has not been released yet, but no foul play has been suspected. Police reportedly received a call to the young actor’s apartment on Sunday at about 5:30 p.m.

Jansen was Hayden’s only sibling. (Mediapunch/Shutterstock)

Like Hayden, Jansen was also an actor. He appeared alongside his sister for the 2004 Disney Channel Original Movie Tiger Cruise, and he also lent his voice to the 2005 comedy Racing Stripes, which Hayden also starred in. Jansen continued to make acting appearances in a wide variety of projects over the years, appearing in a one-off episode of The Walking Dead as well as the romcom Love And Love Not. He was attached to four other projects at the time of his passing.

Jansen was five years younger than Hayden. He’s survived by her as well as their parents, former soap opera actress Lesley R. Vogel and New York City Fire Department captain Alan Lee “Skip” Panettiere. Jansen was also an uncle to Hayden’s daughter Kaya.

Outside of acting, Jansen was also working as a visual artist. He often shared his creations on his Instagram. He appeared to be influenced by street art and also used a wide variety of colors for very popping visuals. His artwork was available for purchase on his website on an array of products, including t-shirts, sneakers, bags, and much more.

Jansen and Hayden smile as they pose together at a red carpet event. (Broadimage/Shutterstock)

After Jansen’s death, Catherine Michie, who appeared to be his girlfriend on his social media, shared a series of photos of them together and wrote a touching tribute to the late star, speaking about how much she’d miss him. “You have been my best friend and biggest fan. 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,” she wrote in a statement on Instagram

Catherine continued and spoke about how much she loved him and would miss him. “I hope you find peace, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you needed me most. 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,” she wrote.

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