Silvio Horta was found dead in Miami on Tuesday

By Jodi Guglielmi
January 08, 2020 12:39 PM

Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta‘s cause of death has been revealed.

Horta died by suicide, PEOPLE has confirmed. According to the Miami-Dade County medical examiner, Horta died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Horta, 45, was found dead in Miami on Tuesday. A representative for Horta confirmed his death to PEOPLE but could not provide further details at the time.

A complete autopsy and toxicology report are still pending.

Horta’s mother, Anna, and sister, Hilda., released a statement confirming his death: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear brother and son, Silvio Horta. Through his friendships, his love and his work in TV and films, Silvio touched the lives of millions. Silvio had an ongoing struggle with addiction and depression, but through it all, he always found a way to turn his struggle into laughter. He was a kind and beautiful man. He may be gone but his light will shine on.”

A service will be held in Miami, with a memorial service to be announced in Los Angeles.

After news of his death broke, Ugly Betty star America Ferrera shared a touching tribute to the late screenwriter on Instagram. They worked together on the ABC sitcom from 2006 to 2010.

“I’m stunned and heartbroken to hear the devastating news of Ugly Betty creator, Silvio Horta’s death,” Ferrera began her post, sharing a photo with Horta after their Golden Globes win in 2007.

Michael Caulfield/WireImage

“His talent and creativity brought me and so many others such joy & light,” she wrote. “I’m thinking of his family and loved ones who must be in so much pain right now- and of the whole Ugly Betty family who feel this loss so deeply.”

Ferrera played the titular role in Horta’s Ugly Betty, an adaptation of the Colombian telenovela, Yo Soy Betty, La Fea. The show debuted to critical acclaim, winning a Golden Globe in 2007 and being nominated at the Emmys that same year.

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Ferrera won outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for her role at both the Emmys and the Golden Globes that same year.

Horta previously spoke about how some aspects of his own life made their way into the beloved series.

“I think elements of Justin’s character being gay and sort of struggling with his sexuality was definitely — I drew from my own life,” he said in an interview with the Television Academy shared in 2016. “Though I was never quite as flamboyant or as into fashion or, you know, musical theater” as the character played by Indelicato.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to