'Sister Wives' star Janelle Brown said son Garrison's text prompted wellness check before death

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 03: (L-R) Television personalities Janelle Brown, Kody Brown and Christine Brown from "Sister Wives" arrive at the show "RockTellz & CockTails presents Meat Loaf" at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on October 3, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic)
"Sister Wives" stars Janelle and Kody Brown said their son Garrison "was a bright spot in the lives of all who knew him." (Gabe Ginsberg / Getty Images )

For the record:
10:09 a.m. March 11, 2024: A previous headline on this article misidentified Janelle Brown as Janelle Evans.

Garrison Brown, the son of "Sister Wives" reality stars Janelle and Kody Brown, who was found dead Tuesday, sent an alarming text message that prompted his mom to ask his siblings to check on him, according to a police report.

Brown, who reportedly was 25, died of an apparent suicide at his Arizona home, according to the Flagstaff Police Department.

Read more: Most of the 'Sister Wives' have left Kody Brown. What's next for the TLC show?

"It is with great sadness I confirm Mr. Robert Garrison Brown was located in his residence deceased, as a result of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," Sgt. J.L. Rintala said Wednesday in a statement to The Times.

Officers responded Tuesday to a report of a death inside a home, where they met with a sibling who was identified as "Gabe" and who had found Brown dead, Rintala said.

"At this time, there is not any indication of foul play, and detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division are investigating," the statement said.

According to the police report, obtained Thursday by The Times, officers responded to a service call regarding a suicidal subject at an apartment and were told that Garrison had shot himself and was cold to the touch.

"It was obvious that Robert had been deceased for a significant period; therefore, no lifesaving efforts were performed," the report said.

Janelle Brown told officers about troubling messages her son had sent the day before he died, according to the report. It also said that some of Garrison's roommates had told police that they had heard a "pop" sound Monday night but did not think it was a gunshot and did not check on him.

The TLC star, who had six children with polygamist Kody Brown, told police that Garrison texted a group of people whom the family works with: "I want to hate you for sharing the good times. But I can't. I miss these days."

After Janelle heard about the message, she checked in with Garrison via text and said they had a brief conversation before he abruptly stopped responding. Janelle, who also told police that Garrison was estranged from Kody, then got in touch with her other kids to see if one of them could go check on him in person.

She told police "she should have gotten Garrison help in the past as well."

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Garrison's roommates as well as his brother Gabriel told police that Garrison had recently been struggling with a drinking problem and possible mental health issues. Gabriel noted, however, that his brother had recently started a job at a medical facility and seemed "OK."

Brown's parents announced their son's death Tuesday on Instagram in nearly identical posts.

"Kody and I are deeply saddened to announce the loss of our beautiful boy Robert Garrison Brown," Janelle Brown wrote. "He was a bright spot in the lives of all who knew him. His loss will leave such a big hole in our lives that it takes our breath away. We ask that you please respect our privacy and join us in honoring his memory."

In a statement to The Times, a spokesperson for "Sister Wives" network TLC said: "We are devastated to hear of the tragic loss of Garrison Brown. We extend our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the Brown family at this difficult time."

Garrison was one of Kody's 18 children. He was introduced in 2010 during the debut season of the reality series, which chronicles the highs and lows of a polygamist family headed by Kody and his wives Janelle, Meri, Christine and Robyn. The series has followed the family during its time living in Lehi, Utah, Las Vegas and Flagstaff. Janelle, Meri and Christine have since ended their marriages to Kody.

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Although marriage to more than one individual at a time is not legally recognized in the United States, Kody has called his relationships with the women “spiritual unions,” arguing that their marriages are legal.

Janelle and Kody announced their separation in December 2022, days before Meri announced her split from the Brown family patriarch.

Janelle’s children have been estranged from Kody for a while, and Garrison moved out. That was a plotline of Season 18, which wrapped at the end of 2023. A renewal for the reality series has yet to be announced.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.