Tyler Perry's nephew appears to have killed himself behind bars -- but the answer officials are giving the family doesn't have them convinced it wasn't foul play.
Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... the filmmaker's 26-year-old nephew, Gavin Porter, was found dead in his cell Tuesday night at a prison facility near St. Helena Parish in Louisiana. We're told Gavin's immediate family -- which includes Tyler's sister, who's Gavin's mom -- was told by prison officials he had hanged himself with a bedsheet while in solitary confinement.
Our sources say the officials told the fam Gavin had gotten into a fight with another inmate over the weekend and was placed in solitary. We're told that around 6 PM, guards checked on Gavin and found nothing of concern.
Our sources say guards came back at 8 PM Tuesday and found Gavin dead. He had hung himself with bedsheets. We're told the family has been notified there's no foul play in the death -- but our sources say Gavin's family isn't necessarily buying the story.
Gavin was arrested for shooting and killing his biological father back in 2016 -- in front of his mother -- after cops say an argument erupted between the two. He pled no contest to manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years.
We reached out to Tyler ... so far, no word back.