The Young & the Restless Cast Learns of Kristoff St. John's Character's Death in Emotional Episode
The Young & the Restless is beginning to mourn the death of Neil Winters
Nearly three months after Kristoff St. John‘s shocking death, The Young & the Restless is beginning to say goodbye to both the beloved star and his longtime character, Neil Winters.
During Tuesday’s episode, Neil was found by his son Devon Hamilton, portrayed by Bryton James. While viewers don’t yet know the details surrounding Neil’s death, the conclusion that he died was drawn after Devon came down the stairs crying.
Towards the end of the episode, Devon revealed the sad news to his sister, Lili Winters (played by Christel Khalil) — but fans weren’t able to hear the dialogue between them. As somber music began to play, more cast members were notified and hugged one another in solace.
Throughout the next week, The Young & the Restless will celebrate the life of St. John — who died at age 52 on Feb. 3 — and his character with the return of some of his onscreen family, including Shemar Moore, Victoria Rowell and Mishael Morgan.
PEOPLE previously announced that during an upcoming episode of Y&R, the cast will gather to remember one of their own when Neil (played by St. John since 1991) dies unexpectedly. Neil’s family and friends come from near and far to pay their respects and remember their beloved father, colleague, brother and friend.
Moore will reprise his role of Neil’s brother, Malcolm Winters, for two episodes airing April 25 and April 26.
On April 29, Y&R will air a special tribute episode in honor of St. John that will include cast members sharing memories of their dear friend and colleague, along with memorable Neil Winters clips spanning his 27 years on the show. Moore, Rowell (who played Neil’s longtime love, Drucilla Winters) and Morgan will participate.
Last month, PEOPLE confirmed that St. John died because of heart disease, which was exacerbated by alcohol use. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office listed his cause of death of “hypertrophic heart disease … and effects of ethanol.” His death was officially ruled an accident.
In early March, he was laid to rest next to the grave of his son Julian St. John, who died by suicide in 2014. Friends and family gathered at the Calvary Community Church in Westlake, California, where he was buried, to celebrate his life.
Following St. John’s death, Moore spoke out about the loss of his dear friend.
“I’m raised an only child, but Kristoff is truly the closest thing to a brother and a brother’s love and a brother’s mentorship that I’ve ever known,” Moore, 48, told PEOPLE about St. John.
“He didn’t have to embrace me the way he did. When I came in and was trying to find my way and he saw how scared I was, he saw how nervous I was,” Moore said. “He saw my six pack and all that, but he just saw me and he embraced me like a brother. If he hadn’t embraced me, I would have never got my sure footing in the beginning days.”
Said Moore, “He was the sexiest black man on television from what my aunties and grandmothers told me before I’d ever knew that I was ever going to share the stage with him on The Young & the Restless.”