Lauren died on April 29 in Maryland

By Robyn Merrett
June 26, 2019 10:31 PM
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Toni Braxton‘s niece Lauren Braxton’s cause of death has been revealed.

Maryland’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner tells PEOPLE Lauren died of a heroin overdose and fentanyl intoxication.

The manner is undetermined.

Lauren, who was the daughter of Toni’s younger brother Michael Conrad Braxton Jr., died on April 29 in Maryland. She was 24.

TMZ also reported that law enforcement responded to a 911 call around noon on that Monday and found Lauren unresponsive when they arrived. According to the outlet, Lauren was pronounced dead by paramedics.

Following Lauren’s death, a rep for the Braxton family told Entertainment Tonight, “We ask that you please respect the Braxton family’s privacy in this time of sadness and loss.”

Toni, 51, broke her silence on Lauren’s death a few days later, sharing a red carpet photo of the two on Instagram.

“R.I.P to my amazing niece Lauren ‘Lo Lo’ Braxton…I’m still in disbelief and so very heartbroken 😥💔 Love you…always auntie ‘Te Te,’” Toni wrote in the caption.

Michael, 50, a Maryland based singer-songwriter, is the only son among the Braxton siblings and has appeared on episodes of their show, Braxton Family Values. He and Toni are the elder siblings to sisters Traci, 48, Towanda, 45, Trina, 44, and Tamar, 42.

Trina also paid her respects to her Lauren with an Instagram photo she posted on Tuesday. Her caption read, “God sent me another angel! Rest in Heaven Lauren ‘LoLo’ Braxton.”

Tamar also opened up about Lauren’s death, explaining in an Instagram Live video that the death was the first time she had lost a family member and came amid a busy time for her, as she tours with Kandi Burruss and continues filming Braxton Family Values.

Due to her busy schedule and how hard she was taking the news, the star announced she would not be attending Lauren’s funeral because she was feeling too “drained” to be at the services.

Traci Braxton, Towanda Braxton, Evelyn Braxton, Toni Braxton, Michael Braxton Sr., Michael Braxton Jr, and Trina Braxton
| Credit: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

“I’ve been M.I.A. because I just cannot bring myself to post about my niece. Like, I just can’t do it,” she told her followers in the four-minute clip, which was captured the blog YBF Chic. “But what I did want to say is I want to thank everyone for sending their condolences.”

“I don’t want my sisters or my family to get upset with me, but the things that’s been going on — this is the first time that anybody in my family has passed,” she continued. “Nobody tell you about going to the damn funeral. I don’t have time going to the funeral.”

“I’m still drained from that… It’s a lot,” Tamar added, noting that, “Everything happens in God’s divine order and you’ve got to respect it and praise him anyway.”

Her comments didn’t sit well with some fans, who criticized the singer for not attending the services for her niece.

“You wrong for not supporting your brother! Put the shoe on the other foot. So self-centered,” wrote one fan, while another follower added, “and yet ur the only one that didn’t write a tribute to your niece… smh it doesn’t look good”

Another user firmly wrote, “Get..your a— up and go to the funeral for 2 hours then get back in your bed. I’m not hearing this excuse.”

Tamar Braxton
| Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

In response to the backlash, Tamar spoke out on Instagram again — this time in a post on Friday, with a reshared image that read “PSA: Don’t tell people how to heal from something you’ve never been through.”

The reality star captioned the photo, which spoke to allowing others to grieve in different ways, “…. and now you know the rest of the story ✨.”

If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.