Sister Wives star Robert Garrison Brown’s friend Kenia Gutierrez admitted she was surprised when she learned that he died from an apparent suicide at the age of 25.

“I did not expect it … He was always a person you wanted to see, and he’d always say hello to you. His presence was being gracious,” Kenia told Us Weekly in an interview published on Thursday, March 7.

She added that “everything was normal” in the days leading up to Garrison’s death on Tuesday, March 5. “He was always happy,” Kenia recalled. “What happened was shocking.”

Kenia and Garrison met when they attended the same Mormon church when he and his family lived in Las Vegas in 2016. The Brown family moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, in 2018, though Kenia explained that she frequently kept in touch with Garrison via text.

She said that there was “nothing alarming” about their last conversation, which they had just a few months ago. Kenia went on to remember Garrison as a “very happy” and “optimistic person.” She continued, “He would always talk so much greatness about his family. They were very close.”

Janelle Brown and Kody Brown confirmed their son’s death just hours after news broke of his passing. “Kody and I are deeply saddened to announce the loss of our beautiful boy Robert Garrison Brown,” Janelle, 54, wrote on Instagram. “He was a bright spot in the lives of all who knew him. His loss will leave such a big hole in our lives that it takes our breath away. We ask that you please respect our privacy and join us in honoring his memory.”

Police confirmed to In Touch that Garrison died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Flagstaff. His body was found by his brother Gabriel Brown. Gabe, 22, went to visit Garrison’s home at the request of Janelle, who was concerned about text messages Garrison sent on the evening of Monday, March 4. “I want to hate you for sharing the good times. But I can’t. I miss these days,” he wrote to people who work for the Brown family, Janelle explained to the police.

Janelle was seemingly not part of the group chat, though she reached out to Garrison when she was told about the ominous message. The mother-son duo then had a “brief conversation,” and she told authorities that he eventually stopped responding.

Sister Wives’ Robert Garrison Brown’s Friend ‘Did Not Expect’ His Death: ‘Everything Was Normal’
Courtesy of Garrison Brown/Instagram

The mother of six told police that she “should have gotten” her son “help” before his death. Janelle was previously open about Garrison’s struggles with mental health amid his estrangement from Kody, 55, and admitted she “worried” about him and Gabe during an October 2023 episode.

Gabriel feels everything very, very deeply,” she said while reflecting on her sons’ strained relationship with their father, which began when they disagreed about the businessman’s strict rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “But he’s also the kid who doesn’t say anything. [Garrison] just seems angry or sadder, like, he’s not as happy-go-lucky as he used to be.”

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at