“I'm glad that he did go. He took the courage and he went. He was brave. Ryan was never afraid to try anything. He was never afraid. Most things he tried, he mastered," said Iris Flowers.
Iris remembers her son's journey to stardom. At 21 years old, Ryan left his mother's home in Georgia for New York City to pursue his dream of becoming a model. With her son being miles away for the first time, she was as nervous as any parent would be. Iris followed her son on social media to keep up with his latest ventures. She remembers the day she felt all his hard work wasn't in vain. He landed a spot on the runway during New York's Fashion Week.
“Of course I'm at home worrying, but eventually I saw it on Facebook where he was walking down the runway Fashion Week with a pair of gold shorts on. I'm like, alright, he is doing what he wants to do," she said.
PHOTOS | Ryan's modeling career
Soon Ryan set his eyes on Hollywood.
He aspired to become an actor and pursue film production. He and a group of friends packed their belongings in a U-Haul truck and left New York for Los Angeles. They documented their cross country journey.
“A lot of things that happened on that trip, he recorded it. A lot of his production team members have a lot of their lives together recorded. So, soon people will be able to see that,” Iris said.
The film, currently in the works, is a docuseries called, “Are We famous Yet?” Ryan's three friends, now filmmakers, are telling Ryan's story in hopes to find the truth behind his death. They share the process of making this True Crime docuseries on Facebook and Instagram.
Ryan eventually decided to leave his production team in Los Angeles and head back to New York. He married celebrity stylist Kythe Brewster. Flowers found out about her son's nuptials on Facebook.
“I find out on social media Ryan has gotten married to a man twice his age. I don't even know who this is. I don't even have a clue as to what's going on. It was a total shock," she said.
PHOTOS | Ryan marries celebrity stylist Kythe Brewster
Just four months later, Ryan and Kythe separated. Ryan moved back in with his mother in Georgia who sensed something was wrong. Iris remembered a conversation she had with her son:
“Something bad is going to happen to me isn't it?” Ryan asked his mother.
"Ryan, what are you talking about?" she responded.
Iris asked her son if he owed someone money and he said no.
"I've done a lot of things to hurt a lot of people," Ryan replied.
Iris said she never found out exactly what Ryan was talking about.
"I don't know if he felt some kind of way because he left the (production) team, married Kythe and it didn't work out with Kythe and now he's home. He knew he hurt me by disappearing and not communicating with me. Anybody outside of that, I couldn't figure out who it could be," she told 11Alive.
Two days later Ryan abruptly left for Los Angeles again. This was the last time Iris saw her son alive.
PHOTOS | Ryan with his family