Nine days after being reported missing, country singer Luke Bell was confirmed dead near Tucson, Arizona.
Bell was reported missing in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday, August 20, by his friend and traveling companion Matt Kinman. Bell suffered from mental illness that included bipolar disorder and reportedly disappeared when Kinman left to get something to eat. Bell was found dead on Monday, August 29, near where he was last seen by Kinman.
Kinman reported that he and Bell had recently visited the latter’s home state of Wyoming before they went to Arizona. “…we came down here to Arizona, to work down here, play some music, and he just took off. 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.”
Bell has history of mental health issues and is on medication, but it was changed recently, which could be the reason for his disappearance. Read more here.
On September 2, Bell’s family released a statement to PEOPLE, saying they are “heartbroken” over the death of their son, brother, and friend.
“Unfortunately Luke suffered from the disease of mental illness, which progressed after his father’s death in 2015,” the family said. “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.”
Bell’s relatives also said their “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.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bell’s family.