The day after 34-year-old singer Aaron Carter was found dead at his home in Southern California, Nick Carter, the Backstreet Boys member, remembered his younger brother, saying that despite "a complicated relationship," his love for him "never ever faded."
In a posting Sunday on Instagram with photos of the two through the years, Nick Carter said his heart was broken after the death of the youngest of five Carter siblings, whom he called his "baby brother."
"My heart is broken," wrote Carter. "Even though my brother and I have had a complicated relationship, my love for him has never ever faded. I have always held onto the hope that he would somehow, someday want to walk a healthy path and eventually find the help that he so desperately needed."
Deputies responded around 11 a.m. Saturday following reports of a medical emergency at Aaron Carter's home in Lancaster, California. Authorities said a house sitter found a man in the bathtub in the home and resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.
Carter had struggled with substance abuse and mental health. In 2017, he attended rehab and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana charges. In 2019, Carter said on an episode of the talk show "The Doctors" that he was taking medication for acute anxiety, manic depression and multiple personality disorder. That same year, Nick and Angel, Aaron's twin sister, said they filed a restraining order against Aaron.
In September, the youngest Carter said he went into rehab for the fifth time in the hopes of regaining custody of his young son, Prince, with his fiancee Melanie Martin. At the time, Prince was under the court-ordered care of Martin's mother.
"Sometimes we want to blame someone or something for a loss. But the truth is that addiction and mental illness is the real villain here," Nick Carter wrote on Instagram. "I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know. I love you Chizz, now you can finally have the peace you could never find here on earth ... . I love you baby brother."
Their sister, Leslie Carter, died after falling in the shower in 2012 at the age of 25. Authorities said she had suffered an overdose from prescription medication. Aaron Carter once said he felt his family partly blamed him for her death.
Carter, a singer, rapper and actor, opened for the Backstreet Boys tour in 1997, the same year his gold-selling debut self-titled album was released. He reached triple-platinum status with his sophomore album, 2000's "Aaron's Party (Come Get It)."
Carter's acting credits included the television show "Lizzie McGuire" and an appearance on "Dancing with the Stars." He starred alongside his siblings on the E! unscripted series "House of Carters" in 2006.
Hilary Duff, who starred in "Lizzie McGuire," recalled Carter as having an "effervescent" charm, and said her "teenage self" loved him deeply. "I'm deeply sorry that life was so hard for you and that you had to struggle in-front of the whole world," she wrote on Instagram.
Angel Carter, his twin sister, also responded on social media. "My funny, sweet Aaron, I have so many memories of you and I, and I promise to cherish them," she wrote on Instagram. "I know you're at peace now. I will carry you with me until the day I die and get to see you again."