Tyler Sanders, the Daytime Emmy-nominated teen actor known for his guest-starring roles on popular series like 9-1-1 Lone Star and The Rookie, died from the effects of fentanyl. Months after the young actor passed away at his home in Los Angeles at 18, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner revealed Sanders' cause of death, noting in an autopsy report obtained by TMZ that Sanders' death was accidental. The medical examiner noted that Sanders had a history of drug abuse, including heroin, cocaine, LSD, mushrooms, and Xanax.
The release of Sanders' cause of death comes after the teen was found dead in his Los Angeles-area home on June 16. Shortly after news of his death was confirmed, sources close to the investigation told TMZ that his death was being considered an overdose. While talent agent Pedro Tapia said in an initial statement that "the cause of death is unknown and currently being investigated. We can't comment further beyond this," TMZ's sources noted at the time that Sanders struggled with drug use. Those sources also alleged that authorities found a plastic straw and white powder in the room where Sanders died.
According to the medical examiner's autopsy report, Sanders revealed to a friend via text messages the night before his death he was using fentanyl. When the friend attempted to call Sanders after receiving the concerning texts, the actor did not answer. Police were then called to his home after, and when they arrived, they found Sanders unresponsive in bed. The autopsy report confirmed that apparent illicit drugs were found in the bathroom of the home, where Sanders lived alone.
Born in Texas, Sanders began his acting career when he was just 10, going on to land his first credited role in 2015 on JLW Academy after initially appearing in a number of shorts. He scored his first major television role as a Young Jake Otto in the 2017 Fear the Walking Dead episode "TEOTWAWKI," which was followed by a role in a 2018 episode of The Rookie, "The Hawke." He also nabbed a guest starring role in the 9-1-1: Lone Star episode "Impulse Control," which aired in April 2022. Sanders also had a starring role in the Just Add Magic spin-off Mystery City for Amazon's Prime Video, his performance on the series earning him a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Principal Performance in a Children's Program. Just prior to his death, he filmed The Price We Pay, a movie starring Stephen Dorff and Emile Hirsch.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call the National Drug Helpline at (844) 289-0879.