Illinois Representative Sean Castin says he doesn’t know how his 17-year-old daughter Gwen died over the weekend, other than saying she died “peacefully” after going to bed.
Castin, a Democrat representing Congressional District 6, released a statement on Wednesday but gave no further details about how Gwen died.
He wrote: “On Sunday night we had dinner as a family and then she went out with some friends for a few hours.
“When she got home, she (wife) said goodnight to Karta and me, texted a friend to make sure she got home safe and didn’t wake up on Monday morning.
“All we know about her death is that it was peaceful. And the only lesson we can take from this is to enjoy the moments you have with your loved ones.
Gwen had just graduated from high school and was due to study environmental science at the University of Vermont.
Castin highlighted his daughter’s activism, her trumpeting skills and her purpose in fighting for causes like gun control, LGBTQ alliance and Black Lives Matter.
Illinois Representative Sean Castin (center right) says he doesn’t know how his 17-year-old daughter Gwen (center left) died over the weekend
Castin, a Democrat representing Congressional District 6, released a statement on Wednesday but gave no further details about how Gwen died
Following news of her death, her high school’s empowerment club, which she founded, posted a tribute to her on Instagram, thanking her for “everything you’ve done to make an impact in our lives.”
Details about Gwen’s death remain scarce, but after Casten’s office announced her death on Monday, several of her high school clubs have paid tribute to the teen, who followed in her father’s footsteps by fighting for social causes, for the she was passionate about, such as gun control.
For example, the Downers Grove North Empowerment Club, which Gwen founded, posted a photo of her in a blue floral dress holding a bouquet of flowers and wrote, “There are no words that can describe the loss we feel.
“Gwen, Founder and Director of [the] Empowerment Club, appreciated by all,” club members wrote. “Her hard work, determination and beautiful personality were an inspiration to everyone.
“She was so loved and her incredible impact will live on forever in our community,” they added. “Thank you Gwen for everything you’ve done to impact our lives and fill it with love and positivity.
“You really were a force to be reckoned with,” they concluded. ‘We will miss you.’
The daughter of Illinois Congressman Sean Casten, Gwen, voiced a campaign ad for her father — which was released just weeks before her death on Monday
In the video, 17-year-old Gwen speaks about her father’s platform – including his campaigning for gun control and women’s abortion rights
The video ends with Gwen sitting down to the family dinner with her father, mother and sister
The school’s Asian American-Pacific Islander Student Union also said it was “heartbroken at the loss” and described the “key role he played in bringing about positive change,” according to PEOPLE.
“Gwen was a leader and a friend,” the club said in a statement. “She was a highly qualified student at North and was involved in various activities of Changemakers, the band, [National Honor Society]Math team and tennis while they’re all on the high honor roll.
“Gwen and her father @RepSeanCasten recognized the importance of protecting the environment and the dangers that would arise if we continued to pollute our planet,” they wrote, adding that she was “always there to help anyone in need and keep an open mind.” to have an ear.”
The club described her as an ally “who did everything to support and reinforce her [People of Color’s] Voices.
“Carrying on your legacy means standing up for what you believe in and doing whatever it takes to make the world a better place,” the club wrote. “Rest in peace, Gwen.”
Gwen was following in her father’s footsteps as a political activist before her sudden death on Monday. She is seen here with her father, Rep. Sean Casten, at a Pride event
Gwen was following in her father’s footsteps as a political activist before her sudden death on Monday, and the rep was bubbling with pride as he spoke about her just days before.
He told Newsy how he was “hugely proud” of her after she took the initiative to organize a “Stop the Bleed” training session at her school so that children could learn how to get a gunshot wound during a school shooting packs.
“I am both very proud that my daughter took the initiative to organize this and very mortified that as a country we hold children aged 15, 16 and 17 responsible for doing what officiate United States senators don’t have the guts to do it themselves,” said Rep. Casten, 50, in a recent interview with Newsy.
Gwen was also co-director of the March For Our Lives Illinois Chapter, a youth-led movement to end gun violence — and after last year’s Capitol riot, Gwen collaborated with her father to write an article about the impact it had they both.
At the time, Casten was in his Washington DC office and Gwen was in Illinois at school. She described her fear upon learning her father had been told to put on gas masks.
Casten and his wife Kara have two daughters together; Gwen, 17, and Audrey, 14
Casten is now running against incumbent Democratic Rep. Marie Newman in the redrawn 6th congressional district, but he removed all of his campaign ads after her death
Shortly before the announcement was made, Casten’s campaign office asked Illinois television networks to immediately take his campaign spots off the air until further notice, CBS News-Chicago reported.
Casten faces off against incumbent Democrat Marie Newman in the redrawn 6th congressional district.
Newman said in a statement Monday night: “My heart breaks for the Casten family for the devastating loss of their daughter. My prayers are with Sean, Kara and the entire Casten family.’
The Newman campaign “is working to end all comparable paid communications immediately,” the statement said.
Casten and his wife Kara have two daughters together; Gwen, 17, and Audrey, 14.