By Dan Wakeford and Char Adams
Updated December 10, 2015 at 08:40 PM EST
Credit: Grand County Sheriff's Office via AP

Kristin Cavallari’s brother Michael has been found dead nearly two weeks after he went missing.

“We want to thank everyone for their love, support and prayers during this very difficult time. We have just been informed by the authorities my brother’s body has been found,” Kristin says in a statement to PEOPLE. “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.”

Utah police had been searching for Cavallari since Nov. 27 after his 2014 Honda Civic was found abandoned five miles south of exit 175 on I-70, according to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.

Kristin, 28, recently uploaded an Instagram photo of herself and her brother as kids writing, “We remain hopeful … I have such gratitude for all those that have shared their support.”

A source close to the family previously told PEOPLE that Michael had a difficult past.

“Her brother was always a troubled kid and there was always drama with him,” the source told PEOPLE.

Orange County Sheriff’s Department records indicate that Cavallari was arrested on Nov. 23, just days before his disappearance, and briefly held in an Orange County Jail.

The source added that, despite his troubled past, he and Kristin had always been close.

“She was always very protective of him,” the source said. “She was always trying to help him. He had been trying to produce reality shows awhile ago, but it didn’t work out.”