Comedian Kevin Barnett's Cause Of Death Has Been Revealed

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This week has been a complicated one for the family and friends of comedian and TV series creator Kevin Barnett, who passed away earlier this week while on vacation down in Mexico. Initially, the 32-year-old comic's death was something of a mystery, with no clear cause behind it. Now, however, an autopsy has revealed that Barnett died due to complications connected to pancreatitis.

Shining a light on the tragic situation, the Chief of the Forensic Medical Service gave the following statement to E! News.

The corresponding autopsy was carried out, which determined that the cause of death was: Non Traumatic Hemorrhage, caused by pancreatitis. At the moment his body is still in facilities of the Forensic Medical Service of Tijuana, waiting to be delivered to his family members who are performing the legal proceedings.

It was also confirmed that Kevin Barnett's body was picked up from the famed Avenida Revolución tourist district in Tijuana, Mexico, early on Tuesday morning, at 5:50 a.m. The comedian had been vacationing in Tijuana in the week following the Season 1 finale of Fox's sitcom Rel, which Barnett co-created with Get Out's Lil Rel Howery and Friend of the People's Josh Rabinowitz.

Considering how floored Kevin Barnett's friends and family have been by his death, it doesn't appear as if the comedian's pancreatitis issues were widely known. It's even unclear if he was aware of the situation himself.

Kevin Barnett's brother, who goes by the name Korey Witha K, spoke with People about the shocking news, saying that their large family were in the midst of being in contact with one another while the brothers' father was down in Mexico verifying the info. Korey claims he initially thought he was going to hear that his brother was kidnapped or something else of that nature.

Korey Witha K said he knew Kevin Barnett dealt with high blood pressure for some years, but wasn't aware of any other concerning health issues that would be so fatal. The brothers hung out in Palm Beach near the end of 2018, and Korey implies the comedian didn't sound like someone who knew he was sick. In Korey's words:

He’s usually working, but he took off this time and he wanted to start a new path, with different avenues. We talked about how his career is going to go up from here. He was going to take a risk and cut back on writing and do other stuff. He was looking forward to taking the next leap.

Indeed, many who knew Kevin Barnett, or were just aware of his career, could feel that the comedian was on the cusp of breaking out as a household name. Rel, whose Season 2 fate is still up in the air at Fox, was a modest ratings earner that benefitted from having NFL games as a distant lead-in. Having cut his teeth on wild series like The Eric Andre Show and Lucas Bros Moving Company, Barnett had a gifted mind that seemed destined for even steeper heights.

Pancreatitis can hit patients either as a chronic issue, which sets in and recurs over many years, or it shows up as acute pancreatitis, which is the more sudden and temporary version. Though some milder cases of pancreatitis can go away without any medical treatment, other more serious cases can result in life-threatening difficulties. It's unclear at this time if it's known how severe Kevin Barnett was suffering from the illness.

CinemaBlend sends our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of Kevin Barnett in their time of mourning.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.