The family of Luke Bell has spoken out after the singer’s death at 32 in which they told fans that he had been suffering from mental illness, which had worsened since 2015.
The singer’s family shared a statement in which they expressed their grief after Bell was found dead in Tucson, Arizona, last Friday.
“We have lost our beloved son, brother and friend and we are heartbroken,” Bell’s relatives said.
They continued, “Luke had a gentle heart, a wanderer’s spirit and a musical gift that he was fortunate to share with us and the world. We are so grateful to his friends and fans for embracing Luke and his music. We would like to thank all of Luke’s fans, friends and family who have been sharing stories and photos of happy times with him.”
“Unfortunately Luke suffered from the disease of mental illness, which progressed after his father’s death in 2015. Luke was supported through his disease by a community of loving family and friends.”
“Despite this, he was unable to receive the help he needed to ease his pain. Our hearts go out to the millions of people affected by mental illness who, like us, understand the devastating disappointment of a system that consistently fails to provide caring solutions to those who suffer.”
“As we navigate our heartbreak we respectfully ask for privacy to allow us room to grieve and honor his memory. Our only comfort comes in the fact that our Luke is finally free and at peace,” the family concluded their statement.
Bell’s cause of death is currently “unknown” and the Tucson Police Department has opened a death investigation, according to authorities.
According to the outlet, he was on a trip to Tucson with his close friend and fellow country recording artist Matt Kinman when he suddenly vanished.
“We came down here to Arizona, to work down here, play some music, and he just took off,” Kinman said.
“He was in the back of the truck. I went in to get something to eat. I came out, and he’d got out of the truck and left.” Kinman confirmed that the Wyoming native was found dead not far from where he had disappeared in Tucson.
Bell was “hiding a severe battle with bipolar disorder that he ultimately would never shake.” He had gone missing several times before and would “end up in hospitals, or at times, incarcerated,” according to Saving Country Music.
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