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Disney and Nickelodeon star Jansen Panettiere's cause of death was 'enlarged heart'

Disney and Nickelodeon star Jansen Panettiere's cause of death was 'enlarged heart'

His family released a heartfelt statement

Jansen Panettiere's family have confirmed the Disney and Nickelodeon actor's cause of death was an 'enlarged heart'.

The 28-year-old artist and actor - best known for his roles in films such as Ice Age: The Meltdown, The Martial Arts Kid and The Walking Dead - was found having passed away on 19 February in his apartment in Nyack, New York.

Panettiere's family - including his elder sister and fellow actor Hayden Panettiere - have since spoken out about the young star's passing.

Jansen Panettiere passed away at the age of 28.
@jrpanettiere/ Instagram

One of Panettiere's friends named Benjamin Brown discovered him after the actor failed to show up to a planned meeting. Brown grew 'concerned' and decided to pay Panettiere a visit at his New York apartment.

A police report notes authorities were called at around 5:00pm local time on a report of an 'unresponsive male with CPR in progress'.

Shortly after authorities arrived, Panettiere was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:11pm. Reports stated there were 'no obvious signs of trauma'.

Jansen is the younger brother of fellow actor Hayden Panettiere.
AFF / Alamy Stock Photo

Panettiere's family have since updated fans and followers with a statement explaining that while it 'offers little solace', the Medical Examiner discovered Panettiere's 'sudden passing' was 'due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications'.

The statement reads: "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.

"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."

Panettiere starred in 'The Martial Arts Kid' (2015).
Traditionz Entertainment

The family also thanked members of the public for the 'outpouring of love and support' as they 'navigate this unthinkable loss'.

Fans of the actor were quick to leap to social media and pay tribute to the star, as well as offering their respects to his family upon hearing the news.

Twitter account The Walking Dead World wrote: "We are sad to share the passing of Jansen Panettiere at the age of 28. Jansen played the role of Casper, a Hilltop resident in Season Nine, Episode 15 of #TheWalkingDead.

"Our sincere condolences to his family & loved ones during this difficult time."

Panettiere's cause of death was due to 'cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications'.
AFF / Alamy Stock Photo

Fellow actor Lisa Catara wrote: "This can't be. Only 28. I am so saddened to hear of Jansen Panettiere's passing. Just the sweetest human, and a talented actor, loved by our community."

The Panettiere family's statement concluded: "[We] 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."

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Featured Image Credit: WENN Rights Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo/Instagram/jrpanettiere

Topics: Celebrity, Disney, TV And Film, News