The 5-month-old son of Marvin Jones, a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, died under undisclosed circumstances on Friday. The NFL player broke the news on his Instagram profile, posting a picture of the boy, named Marlo, alongside the devastating announcement on Saturday.
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"Yesterday the Lord called home a piece of my family's heart, Marlo," Jones wrote. "It is hard to believe that our little angel, our fighter from day one, our son 'Marlito' has unfortunately passed away and is no longer here with us. Marlo, the joy that you brought to us everyday, with that smile, and that energy was like heaven on earth. You will always be in our hearts. We will always remember you. We did not get the chance to hear your first words (It would've been in Spanish too) [smiley face emoji].
"We didn't get to see you run with your brothers and sister, you ran with them with your eyes everyday. We know that everything that We do from here on out will be with you. Every step we take, you will be with us. Whenever we have a bad day, We will think of your smile. We miss you already buddy and will forever love you. Rest peacefully our sweet baby boy. You have gained your wings."
The Lions also issued a statement on the child's death.
"Earlier today, we were informed by Marvin and Jazmyn Jones about the sudden passing of their youngest son, Marlo. The Detroit Lions fully support Marvin and Jazmyn during this extremely difficult time," the team's statement read. "Marvin and Jazmyn embody the true meaning of family, and the example they set has made them an inspiration to so many in our community. We thank everyone for the outpouring of support.
"On behalf of the Jones family, we ask that everyone respect the privacy of the matter at this time."
The cause of death is unknown as of press time, but the child's death seems to be sudden. He was featured in an Instagram video uploaded by the wide receiver on Wednesday. In the clip, Jones, his wife Jazmyn and their five children, including Marlo, were shown in matching yuletide pajamas while wishing viewers a merry Christmas.
Photo Credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images