The Internet is awash with questions and theories as to how he died.
Caleb LeBlanc was a 13-year-old YouTube sensation.
He was a seemingly healthy and energetic young boy who found fame via his family’s YouTube channel Bratayley.
Up until a few days ago, Caleb was appearing in the many videos the family shared with their 1.6 million followers, including this video that shows an energetic Caleb talking to his “future self”.
Caleb’s questions to his future self start at the 9 minutes 50 seconds:
And that’s why his sudden death has come as a shock to so many people.
On Saturday, Caleb’s death was announced on the family’s Instagram page.
Accompanying a photo of Caleb hugging one of his two sisters was the caption:
“Yesterday at 7:08PM Caleb Logan Bratayley passed away of natural causes. This has come as a shock to all of us. 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. 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. Please help us honor our, baked potato.”
The Anne Arundel County Police Department that was called to the house after his death has released a statement insisting that there was “no foul play”, and that they are not investigating Caleb’s death:
“Death (Medical Emergency/Non-criminal)
***Due to the numerous inquiries both nationally and locally, the following information is being released. There is no criminal investigation, and case has been turned over to the Medical Examiners Office***
On Thursday, October 1, 2015, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Anne Arundel County Police Officers and Fire Department responded to a medical emergency of a thirteen year old male.
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.
At this time there are no suspicious factors and/or suspected foul play. The juvenile has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) located in Baltimore, Maryland for an official autopsy. The OCME will determine the final cause and manner of death. Due to a large number of inquiries, we can confirm that the juvenile was known as Caleb Logan Bratayley from the popular YouTube episodes “Bratayley”.
Since there are no suspicious circumstances, this case has been turned over to the OCME, and is not being investigated by the police department. There is no further information at this time.
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Since his death, thousands of teenagers have come out with tributes and posts expressing their sadness and also asking questions as to how he died.
The vague circumstances around Caleb’s death have been highlighted by news organisations.
“She (Caleb’s mother) reported he had died the previous evening of “natural causes”; the ambiguity of that explanation has only fueled rumor-mongering all over the Internet as to what specifically could cause an otherwise healthy-looking pre-adolescent to pass away.”
And from Have U Heard:
“While the statement let everyone know Caleb had passed away, the lack of explanation of ‘natural causes’ has fueled rumors as to what really happened. The term ‘natural causes’ usually refers to older people.”
In all likelihood, questions will continue to circulate until more details are released by the family.
However, despite the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death, the tragedy at losing a young child is undeniable.
We hope that Caleb’s family receives the support and privacy they need during this time.
Some of the photos from the Bratayley Instagram account: