Sawyer Sweeten's relatives have opened up about the loss of their dear family member, following the news that the Everybody Loves Raymond star died last week. It was announced that Sawyer took his own life, aged 19.
The former child star rose to fame playing Geoffrey Barone on the popular TV show, alongside his twin brother Sullivan, who played Michael. Their older sister Madylin, who is now 23, also starred in the series.
Speaking about her younger sibling's death, Madylin told People, "Sawyer was more than just a brother.He was a strong and selfless friend. When confiding in one another, Sawyer always had the kindest words of encouragement. He will live on in my head and those shared moments forever."
A few hours before Sawyer's death was made public, Madylin had shared a poignant message on her Facebook page, writing, "At this time 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."
It was Madylin who also initially released a statement on Thursday, announcing that a "terrible family tragedy" had happened. Sawyer's younger sister Maysa, 16, has also spoken about her grief. "Although my memories of my brother hurt now, they are some of the best I've ever had and deserve to live on in my mind and in the minds of my family forever. There isn't a single day I won't miss him."
"Until we meet again, big bro, I love you!" she added.
The late actor's twin brother Sullivan, who enjoyed a close bond with his sibling and shared a house with him in California, has yet to comment.
Relatives also confirmed that Sawyer and Sullivan had been visiting family in Texas, as they often did, when Sawyer took his own life at his aunt's home. The actor, who first starred on Everybody Loves Raymond when he was 16 months old, was said to have a history of depression.
His maternal grandparents added, "We loved Sawyer as we do all of our grandchildren. He and Sullivan weren't ever actors or celebrities to us, just the sweetest boys that ever lived."