The bodies of Billy and Joe Smith, both 32, were found hanging from a tree near a farm in Sevenoaks, Kent, England, on Saturday, December 28.
Phoebe Charlene Smith, the twins' cousin, told The Telegraph that Joe had been diagnosed with cancer — and the news hit brother Billy hard.
“Joey had cancer, and Billy told him 'I’d never be able to live without you,'" she revealed. “Joey told the family he got the all-clear after chemo two months ago, but we don’t know if that’s true now."
“They went missing, and Joey’s phone was turned off. Then we found a note. It said that they wanted it like this, and we would find them in the woods where they played with the family years ago. My uncle ran up there and found them," the devastated cousin said.
The brothers, who came from a family of Romani gypsies, appeared on the hit show in 2013.
Kristina Delancy took to social media to pay tribute to her late boyfriend Billy.
“Joe, I tried telling you (during) our phone calls many times; I said to you just wait for time to heal you. I wish I could have done more for you both," she wrote.
“May you both get the best beds in heaven. Bill please please please be happy now. I’m just persuading myself you’re happier. I know you wouldn’t want me to cry but I am and I cry because I’m in pain. You hated when I cried, but also said how loved you felt," she added.
Only days before their tragic death, the brothers were filmed dancing and singing together at a wedding.
On December 29, a spokesman for Britain’s Romani community said the pair’s “tragic” deaths should serve as a “wake up call” over high suicide rates among travelers and gypsies.
A source told the publication that both men had been suffering from depression "for some time".
“The boys seemed happy to everyone that saw them,” the source told the Telegraph. “The closer family were concerned that they were battling depression, but they were very good at hiding it."
“They were happy-go-lucky, but it shows you cannot always see what hides behind a smile," noted the source. “The family knew they were not right, but never ever expected them to do this.”
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.