Sam Jayne, the frontman for the New York City-based indie rock group Love as Laughter, was found dead in his vehicle after going missing nearly two weeks ago.
According to authorities, an initial investigation uncovered no apparent evidence of “criminality” and it is believed that the 46-year-old guitarist and singer died from natural causes or an unknown medical condition, Fox News reported.
Music news outlet Pitchfork reported that Jayne was last seen on Dec. 6 and was last heard from on Dec. 7. A widespread effort among family and friends on social media was launched to try and find him. Jayne was officially reported as missing on Dec. 12.
According to a spokesperson for the NYPD, Jayne was found in his vehicle several days later and the outlet was told that no “signs of criminality” were discovered by investigators.
Jayne formed Love as Laughter in the mid-1990s after his first band, Olympia, Washington-based Lync, broke up after releasing just one album. During that same time frame, Jayne was also briefly a member of Modest Mouse.
The last full-length album from Love as Laughter was released in 2008, but the band put out a couple of singles in 2012 and 2015 and there were rumors that another album was potentially in the works.
Family releases statement
A tribute website, created by Jayne’s family, features a statement about his untimely death that chose to focus less on the loss and more on the joy and love he brought to all of those he had interacted with and touched over the years.
“Sam’s life is the most important thing to remember and cherish but we must address his death,” his family said in a statement. “All official evidence indicates that Sam passed peacefully in his sleep from undiagnosed health conditions. The irony of someone with a massive ability to love and project that love passing due to a heart condition would not be lost on Sam.”
The statement went on to reveal that, due to the devastation of the coronavirus lockdown in New York City, Jayne was secretly planning to take a cross-country trip to visit with friends and eventually join up with his family in the Pacific Northwest.
“He was keeping this journey close to his chest in order to surprise his loved ones and in doing so gave us all a scare when the radio silence grew too long,” the family said. “It turns out that right at the beginning of his journey he took one night to curl up in his truck and there he passed on to a different path.”
Tributes pour in
The website also features many other tributes from the friends Jayne made during his decades in the music industry.
“Our dear Sam is no longer with us but his memory and impact will endure,” Zeke Howard, Jayne’s Love as Laughter bandmate, wrote on Instagram, according to Pitchfork. “Please respect the privacy of the family at this time.”