Michael Cavallari has officially been declared dead following a thorough missing-person search.

"We want to thank everyone for their love, support and prayers during this very difficult time," Michael's sister, Kristin Cavallaritold E! News in a statement.

"We have just been informed by the authorities my brother's body has been found. This is a very painful time and we are still processing it all. We kindly ask everyone please respect our privacy during our time of grieving."

Michael's 2014 Honda Civic was found abandoned the day after Thanksgiving on a remote dirt road in Utah with its engine on and the airbag deployed. There were no traces of Michael, 30, at that time. Three days ago, he was reported missing.

"At approximately 10:30AM, search crews located remains believed to be that of Michael Cavallari. At this time, the body is being transported to the Office of the Utah Medical Examiner for positive identification and to determine the cause of death," the Grand County Sheriff's Office said in a statement obtained by the website.

"The search crews were searching the Salt Wash area, near exit 175 on I-70 in Grand County. The terrain where the body was located is a steep and very rocky area."

Michael's last credit card transactions and surveillance-camera footage prove he stopped at a convenience store in Monticello to ask for directions to Salt Lake City in the early morning hours before his car was discovered.

A representative for Utah's Medical Examiner's Office later confirmed the body had been "found and transported" to them in Salt Lake City.

Michael had been arrested in southern California with a shotgun just five days before he was reported missing. An insider told E! News that Michael used to get into a lot of trouble and unfortunately drama usually surrounded him.

Michael, who lived in San Clemente, CA, is also the brother-in-law of Jay Cutler, who plays for the NFL's Chicago Bears.

Kristin and Jay wed in 2013 and just welcomed a new baby -- their third child, Saylor James -- on November 23. Kristin appeared on MTV's The Hills and Laguna Beach. She also competed on the thirteenth season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

"The family is in constant touch. It's been stressful. Especially for Kristin, who is caring for two young kids and a newborn," the insider explained. "She's not a Hollywood mom. She doesn't have a lot of help. This has been tough on her."

According to Kristin's social media, she had remained "hopeful" Michael would be found alive right up until his death confirmation. A source previously told People the reality TV star was "always very protective" of her brother.
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