Emily Strohm and Maria Pasquini
February 01, 2018 04:52 PM

Don Lemon’s older sister L’Tanya “Leisa” Lemon Grimes has died, PEOPLE can confirm.

“The Lemon/Grimes family would like to thank everyone for their condolences and prayers at this time. Our family has suffered the tragic loss of L’Tanya ‘Leisa’ Lemon Grimes,” the family said in a statement to PEOPLE. “We are leaning on each other for strength at this time. We appreciate privacy as we grieve the loss of our loved one.”

Lemon, 51, also paid tribute to his sister in a tweet on Thursday: “Thanks everyone for your words of sympathy. Please keep my family in your prayers. Leisa was my oldest sister & partner in crime growing up. Always had my back. #RIPbigSis.”

A rep for the CNN anchor said Lemon will not appear on CNN Tonight on Thursday.

Jim Spellman/WireImage

The Times-Picayune reported that according to an official with the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, the 58-year-old died after accidentally falling into a pond in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, on Wednesday. Officials do not suspect foul play was involved in the drowning.

On Thursday, Lemon also shared an uplifting video starring a handful of adorable children giving a “breaking news” report about why “black excellence is at an all-time high.”

“This lifted my spirits,” he tweeted. “I needed this today.”

It’s not the first tragedy the journalist and his family have faced: Lemon revealed in 2010 that he had been molested as a child.

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