My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding stars Billy Smith and Joe Smith were found dead in Sevenoaks, England on Saturday, days after Christmas. The 32-year-old twins both died by suicide, and it is believed the two had a suicide pact. Their cousin, Phoebe Charleen Smith, told E! News Monday they left a note explaining they were unhappy.
The Smith brothers were reportedly found hanging from a tree in Sevenoaks, Kent, a town in southeast England. The exact circumstances of their deaths are unknown and remain under investigation.
"At 10 a.m. that morning, the postman posted a letter to the door," Phoebe told E! News. "The note was sent to my uncle and he opened the letter and it read, 'We are at the woods, the way we used to be when we were younger.'"
Phoebe said Joe was living at his grandmother's house and did not show up there the night before his death. Just a few days before their deaths, the brothers celebrated Christmas with their mother. They gave their grandmother photos of the family together.
"My uncle ran into the woods where they used to play just behind my aunt's house and that's how my uncle found them," Phoebe said.
Phoebe said Joe, a father of two children, was recently treated for cancer. He said the cancer was gone, "but we don't know if this is the truth or a lie," she told E! News.
"I think they were unhappy," Phoebe continued. "We had a cousin two years ago who killed himself, so it's in the family." Their cousin stressed that it is not clear if their unhappiness was linked to their deaths.
"We don't want anything to get twisted," she said. "They told us the cancer was cured and we don't know if that was the truth. Billy was unhappy anyway and it had a big impact on Billy, this cancer scare. We don't know for sure if it was definitely the cancer."
Billy told his family he "could never live without Joe," Phoebe recalled. "We don't know for sure until the postmortem is done. All we know is a couple of months later this happened."
Phoebe said the brothers had an "amazing" love for each other and were inseparable.
"No one every had a bad word to say about them and they never had a fight in their life," Phoebe said. "They were total gentlemen. They've destroyed all of us. They could have talked to us we are a very close family, and we are all very close to them...They could have come to us for help, and money is no problem. A list of people told him there is no cure for his cancer—and that's the only thing that makes sense."
In the end, Phoebe said it was "unbearable to think what was going through their minds" that led them to taking their own lives.0comments
The Smith brothers appeared on the third season of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, which ran from 2010 to 2015 and aired on TLC in the U.S. TLC also produced two U.S. spin-offs, My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding (2012-2016) and Gypsy Sisters (2013-2015).
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).