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Kristin Cavallari’s missing brother, Michael, found dead

Michael Cavallari appears in an undated photo. Former

Michael Cavallari appears in an undated photo. Former reality TV star Kristin Cavallari's older brother was found dead on Thursday, Dec. 11. His car was found abandoned, with its engine still running and its air bag deployed, in the Utah desert on Nov. 27. Credit: AP

Michael Cavallari, brother of designer and former reality TV star Kristin Cavallari, was found dead Thursday after having gone missing in Utah on Nov. 27.

“We want to thank everyone for their love, support and prayers during this very difficult time. We have just been informed by the authorities my brother’s body has been found,” Kristin Cavallari, 28, said in a statement. “This is a very painful time and we are still processing it all. We kindly ask everyone please respect our privacy during our time of grieving.”

The Grand County, Utah, Sheriff’s Office said “search crews located remains believed to be that of Michael Cavallari” around 10:30 a.m. near Interstate 70’s Exit 175 in the Salt Wash area, a remote location 225 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. “The terrain where the body was located is a steep and very rocky area,” the sheriff’s office said, adding that the body was transported to the state Medical Examiner’s Office to verify its identity and determine the cause of death.

On her Instagram page, Cavallari posted a photo of the siblings as toddlers and wrote: “My heart is in a million pieces. Mikey, I could always count on you to make me laugh. You had such a good heart and will be forever missed. I’m at a loss for words but I know u are in a better place and finally at peace. I love u so much RIP.”

A car belonging to Michael Cavallari, 30, was found abandoned in the Utah desert on Nov. 27, about 100 feet from a road, five miles off I-70’s Exit 175. The 2014 Honda Civic, which appeared to have hit a large rock, was found with its engine running and its air bag deployed.

“We’re combing the area for anything we can find,” Grand County, Utah, Sheriff Steven White told Salt Lake City TV station KSL at the time. “We’re deeming it suspicious, but there’s nothing to indicate anything one way or another. The vehicle was just abandoned.”

“I appreciate all the concern, thoughts, and prayers that have been extended to me and my family,” Kristin Cavallari formerly of MTV’s “The Hills” and “Laguna Beach,” posted on Instagram on Dec. 7, the day Michael’s missing-person status went public. “I have such gratitude for those that have shared their support.”

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