Chris Kelly's uncle talks about addiction - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Chris Kelly's uncle talks about addiction

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Robert Barber Robert Barber
FULTON COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Chris 'Daddy Mac' Smith and Chris 'Mac Daddy' Kelly made up the early 90s popular hip hop duo Kriss Kross. On Wednesday, Kelly, 34, was found dead at his South Fulton County home.  

Robert Barber is Kelly's uncle.

"It tore my family up. It's a bittersweet situation. We know Chris is gone. We know Chris had problems, but we're fighters," said Barber. "He and I had a special relationship because we suffer from the same disease."

Barber said that disease is addiction.  Officers who responded to the 911 call to Kelly's home wrote in the incident report that Donna Kelly Pratte, Chris Kelly's mother, told them he was out the night before and had taken a mixture of heroin and cocaine.

The report states she told them she had brought Kelly home to recover from his drug use and she had done this several times in the past.

Police are investigating his death as a drug overdose.

"We are going to make sure everybody knows about the disease of addiction. We are going to help people," said Barber.

Barber knows first-hand what it's like to have an addiction. He said he's been clean for over 20 years

"I was an officer in the military and a college grad. I found myself homeless from alcohol and drugs," Barber said.

His addictions prompted him start the Atlanta StepUp Society to help men like himself and Kelly.

"Chris, I have to be honest, he has come in and out of our program. He has worked here,"said Barber.

Barber said it's important for people to understand the mental and physical aspects of fighting an addiction. His family will use Kelly's untimely death to help others.

"Every family on the planet now has someone in that family who is suffering from addiction."

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