Juice Wrld‘s mother, Carmella Wallace, is speaking about his death.
“We loved Jarad with all of our hearts and cannot believe our time with him has been cut short,” she said in a statement to TMZ, citing his birth name. “As he often addressed in his music and to his fans, Jarad battled with prescription drug dependency.”
Wallace then reflected on addiction.
“Addiction knows no boundaries and its impact goes way beyond the person fighting it,” she continued. “Jarad was a son, brother, grandson, friend and so much more to so many people who wanted more than anything to see him defeat addiction.”
She also expressed her hope that “the conversations he started in his music and his legacy will help others win their battles as that is what he wanted more than anything.”
“We know that Jarad’s legacy of love, joy and emotional honesty will live on,” she concluded.
Juice, born Jarad Anthony Higgins, died earlier this month—just days after his 21st birthday. The artist experienced a “medical emergency” after a flight from California to Illinois. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. on Dec. 8 at 3:14 a.m. His body was brought to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
“Shortly after arriving to Chicago, he suffered what appears to be some type of medical emergency according to people traveling with him,” a Chicago Police Department spokesperson told E! News earlier this week. “There were no signs of foul play and all individuals aboard the aircraft are cooperating with CPD and have given all of their information. Currently we are awaiting the Cook County Medical Examiner on the cause and manner of death.”
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office told E! News “additional studies are required to establish the cause and manner of death.”
“Additional studies include cardiac pathology, neuropathology, toxicology and histology,” the Medical Examiner’s Office stated.
Anthony Guglielmi, Chief Communications Officer for the Chicago Police Department, shared additional details with NBC. According to Guglielmi, police and federal agents had been waiting inside the Atlantic Aviation hanger for Juice’s flight to arrive from Los Angeles on Dec. 8 following suspicions the rapper was in possession of contraband. Juice and his entourage were intercepted by the police department and FBI officials upon entering the hangar’s lobby. The Chicago police claimed they were notified by federal agents while the plane was in the air that “weapons and narcotics” were suspected to be on board the jet. After a search of the luggage aboard the plane, 41 “vacuum-sealed” bags—or 70 pounds—of marijuana and six bottles of prescription codeine cough syrup were found. Investigators determined two 9mm pistols, a .40 caliber pistol, a high-capacity ammunition magazine and metal-piercing bullets were found, as well.
Henry Dean, a 27-year-old passenger, told police he was carrying the two pistols in addition to the high-capacity magazine. Per Guglielmi, the third gun is believed to have belonged to 36-year-old passenger Christopher Long and was found in a camera case along with personal items of his. However, Long denied ownership of the weapon.
After Juice started convulsing, an agent reportedly administered two doses of Narcan, Guglielmi said. Police said Juice woke up at the time but was incoherent and bleeding from the mouth. According to Guglielmi, about 10 or 12 people were with Juice at the time of his fatal seizure, including the artist’s girlfriend Ally Lotti and his two security guards, Dean and Long.
After being asked if Juice had any known medical issues or had taken any drugs, Lotti told police her boyfriend didn’t have any medical ailments but regularly took Percocet and had a “drug problem.”
Long was arrested at the airport on charges of one misdemeanor count–UUW–Weapon– Carry/Possess Firearm/1st. Dean was arrested on two misdemeanor counts of Carry Concealed Firearm/Airport and one count of High Capacity Magazine and Metal Piercing Bullets – Sale/Possession.
According to Guglielmi, no drug charges have been filed against any of the people on board the flight. He said the marijuana and codeine were found in suitcases that didn’t have name tags on them. The investigation remains ongoing.
“Juice made a profound impact on the world in such a short period of time,” his record company, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, said in a statement to E! News. “He was a gentle soul, whose creativity knew no bounds, an exceptional human being and artist who loved and cared for his fans above everything else. To lose someone so kind and so close to our hearts is devastating. Our thoughts are with Juice’s family and friends, everyone at his label Grade A, and his millions of fans around the world.”