October 5, 2015 / 8:50 PM / in 2 years

Teen star of YouTube's Bratayley family dies at age 13

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Teen YouTube star Caleb Logan LeBlanc, part of the popular “Bratayley” family on YouTube known for posting humorous, wholesome daily videos, has died suddenly at age 13, his family and police said.

Caleb LeBlanc (L-R) with Kayley and Annie of the Bratayley family participate in a live internet unboxing event to reveal new light saber toys from the film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Sydney, September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Reed

LeBlanc died on Thursday in Maryland following a “medical emergency,” the Anne Arundel County Police Department said in a statement on Monday.

“Responding officers arrived and observed a juvenile male patient suffering from an unknown medical emergency. Fire Department personnel transported the juvenile to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased,” the statement added.

Police said the death is not being treated as suspicious and an autopsy will be conducted in Baltimore.

LeBlanc’s mother, Katie, wrote on her Instagram social media account on Friday that her son had died of natural causes but did not give details.  

“Words cannot describe how much we will miss him. His incredibly funny, loving and wonderful spirit made us all fall in love with him as a YouTuber, friend, brother and son,” she wrote.

The Bratayleys, whose name is said to be a play on the name “Haley,” have garnered more than 1.6 million YouTube subscribers with fun videos surrounding the three LeBlanc children showing daily activities such as gymnastics practice and play-time with their dog, Piper.

Walt Disney Co-owned Maker Studios, the digital media company which represents the Bratayleys, said on Friday “We are heartbroken at the tragic loss of Caleb from Bratayley,” joining thousands of emotional tributes from fans online.

LeBlanc, an avid video game fan, posted videos of his exploits on the computer game Minecraft, with some videos racking up as many as 100,000 views.  

In a video posted a day before his death, LeBlanc appeared playful with his sisters at what appeared to be his family’s home, talking about what he would ask his “future self.”

“Are there any new sports? That’s what I’d ask,” he said, smiling and laughing.

The children’s mother Katie said the family, including her husband Billy and younger children Annie and Hayley, would take a break from YouTube.

“We know you tune in to watch each day and eagerly anticipate new videos, but ask that you bear with us while we deal with this tragedy as a family,” she said.

Disney recently recruited the Bratayley family for its global livestreaming event surrounding the “unboxing” of the latest “Star Wars” toys in September.

Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Frances Kerry

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