Kellan Lutz Says He's Leaving 'FBI: Most Wanted' So Daughter 'Could Grow Up' with Family in California

Kellan Lutz and wife Brittany Gonzales welcomed daughter Ashtyn Lilly in February

Kellan Lutz
Photo: Mark Schäfer/CBS

Kellan Lutz is turning in Kenny Crosby's badge.

The FBI: Most Wanted star, 36, revealed on Tuesday that he will be leaving the CBS crime drama to spend more time with his family in California after a year marred by losses — including the pregnancy loss he and his wife, Brittany Gonzales, experienced prior to welcoming baby daughter Ashtyn Lilly.

Lutz made the announcement following the season 3 premiere of FBI: Most Wanted, which saw his character get shot and leave his law enforcement team in order to recover.

"Wow. What a night! And yes, you saw that correctly, Crosby won't be chasing down any bad guys for a little while," the actor wrote on his Instagram.

"2020 was a lot for everyone to say the least. For me it started with losing my first daughter, then nearly my wife, and both grandfathers among other things, all in the middle of a global pandemic on the opposite side of the country from my family, friends, and entire support system," he shared.

"If 2020 taught me anything it's how important family truly is," Lutz continued. "After a lot of prayer and reflection I made the difficult decision to move my growing family back to CA so our daughter could grow up with her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, just a short drive away."

Kellan Lutz
Mark Schäfer/CBS

Lutz went on to thank those who work on the show, which shoots in New York, for their support "as I worked through feelings and emotions in regards to this decision."

"One thing that I kept hearing over and over when I booked this job was how much of a family Dick Wolf shows are, and that couldn't be more accurate," he wrote. "They've supported me in the lows and celebrated with me in the highs and I will forever be grateful for everything they've done for me."

Added Lutz, "I will miss the show, my costars, production, and most importantly my character Kenny Crosby, who is named after one of the grandfathers I lost earlier this year, but I have so much peace knowing I made the right decision for my family."

"I hope Crosby is able to pop in and out here and there in the future but for now- Crosby-over and out," he concluded his statement.

Gonzales, 33, shared Lutz's post on her Instagram Stories, writing in the caption: "Couldn't be more proud of this man ❤️❤️❤️."

The Embraced with Grace podcast host continued to rave about Lutz on Wednesday, captioning a still of the actor from FBI: Most Wanted: "@kellanlutz over here looking like this watch out for baby #2 😬😬😬."

"PS. Cuz people will ask that was not a pregnancy announcement," she added in another post. "Just crushing on my husband."

Kellan Lutz
Kellan Lutz/Instagram

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Lutz's departure from FBI: Most Wanted comes just seven months after he and Gonzales welcomed their daughter Ashtyn.

In February, the couple — who tied the knot in 2017 — announced the birth by sharing polaroid pictures of the newborn on their respective social media accounts.

"The day she came into the world it was snowing, raining, and freezing, but that night she was born and we woke up to sun, clear skies, and winter melting away," Gonzales wrote at the time. "It was so symbolic considering this time last year was literally winter for our souls only to be met one year later with the brightest sunshine."

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