Glee star Mark Salling has reportedly hanged himself.
The actor’s body was found on Tuesday near a little league baseball field close to his Sunland home in Los Angeles, California. He was 35 at the time of his death.
‘I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning,’ his family said in a statement to The Blast.
‘Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment. He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother. The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected.’
Salling was awaiting sentencing after entering a guilty plea to possession of child pornography.
Mark Salling (pictured as he arrived for a court appearance in 2016 for child porn charges) has died of an apparent suicide reports
The Glee star’s body was found on Tuesday in the Los Angeles River near Sunland where he had a home (pictured is his home)
The LAPD were alerted to the body by a 911 call at 8.50am, TMZ reports.
At 9.47am, the fire department found Salling near a little league field next to the Big Tujunga Creek, close to the actor’s home. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
His body is still at the scene while officials carry out their investigation, TMZ reports.
The actor had already made a suicide attempt last summer, when he cut both of his wrists, according to a report.
Salling is said to have ‘freaked out’ after hurting himself on August 22.
He is thought to have been taken to hospital after paramedics treated him in his Los Angeles home. According to TMZ, he had screamed for his roommate after cutting his wrists. The roommate then called 911 and helped him.
The actor was reportedly taken to be treated for psychological problems after he recovered.
Salling was photographed wearing the same clothes he wore for weeks back in October, while he was out buying cigarettes and soda at his local 7-11 store
Authorities were reportedly tipped off by one of Salling’s ex-girlfriends and he was arrested in December 2015 before being released on $20,000 bail (Pictured, left to right: Max Adler as Dave (center) and Salling as Puck on Glee in March 2015)
Salling ‘downloaded thousands of images of child pornography’ between April and December 2015. The papers state he used software to mask his IP address, but twice showed some of his collection to an adult woman, who ultimately reported him to police.
Following the tip-off, Salling was arrested at his home in Sunland, California, where police found a cache of explicit images on his computer depicting children as young as 10 in sexual situations. They later discovered more than 50,000 photos and videos on his laptop and another 4,000 on a flash drive.
The actor was originally facing a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars after being charged with two counts of child pornography last year.
Salling took a plea deal in December, where he pleaded guilty to possessing images of prepubescent children between the ages of three and five. Prosecutors in response, agreed to ask the judge to sentence him to between four and seven years in jail.
At the time of the hearing, he told the judge he was on medication for depression.
Former Glee star Mark Salling in court in December where he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography
Prosecutors and Salling (arriving at court in December) agreed to ask a judge to sentence the actor to between four to seven years in prison
The 35-year-old would also have been required to register as a sex offender, pay restitution and abide by residency restrictions.
That would have meant he was banned from coming within 100 feet of schoolyards, parks, public swimming pools, playgrounds and video arcade venues; and cannot speak to children under the age of 18 without their parents or guardians present.
Authorities were reportedly tipped off by one of Salling’s ex-girlfriends and he was arrested in December 2015 before being released on $20,000 bail.
Lieutenant Andrea Grossman, commander of the LAPD Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said at the time: ‘It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, if you hurt a child you will be held accountable.’
She added: ‘These images are more than photographs, they are child abuse.’
Salling was previously sued by his ex-girlfriend Roxanne Gorzela for sexual battery.
Gorzela claimed that he forced her to have unprotected sex with him and later, when she confronted him over his actions, Salling allegedly pushed her to the ground and caused injury to her knees.
Authorities were reportedly tipped off by one of Salling’s ex-girlfriends and he was arrested in December 2015 (pictured ducking down in the passenger seat of a car as he leaves jail after being arrested for possession of child pornography)
It was reported that the case was settled midway through trial after Gorzela dropped the sexual battery claim.
Salling admitted to negligently causing her to fall and injure herself. She is not believed to have been the woman who tipped off the authorities.
The pair settled the case for a reported $2.7million when Salling admitted to causing her to fall and injure herself through negligence.
Salling shot to fame playing Noah ‘Puck’ Puckerman in the hit FOX series Glee. He first appeared in 2008 and was a regular until season five.
He is the second major actor from the popular series to have died at a young age.
Salling was previously sued by his ex-girlfriend Roxanne Gorzela (right) for sexual battery
In 2011, he ended his fling with Gorzela before their legal issues began. In 2014 he was linked to another co-star Lea Michele (pictured with him in 2009)
In 2008 he was then in a relationship with co-star Naya Rivera, who plays Santana Lopez. In 2010 the relationship soured, and she was accused of egging his house and keying his Lexus in a jealous rage
However the relationship never flourished. More recently he dated 19-year-old Big Time Rush actress Denyse Tontz, but the two broke up some time last year
His costar Cory Monteith died from a drugs overdose in his Vancouver hotel room in March 2013. The actor, who had a history of substance abuse as a teen, was just 31 years old.
The coroner found he died of a toxic combination of heroin and alcohol, and ruled that his death was an ‘accidental overdose’.
Salling was born in Dallas, Texas, and was reportedly home-schooled in a ‘strict Christian home’.
He attended Providence Christian School and Our Redeemer Lutheran elementary schools, and after graduating from a high school, he travelled to California and attended Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music in Pasadena, California and began studying guitar. He gave guitar lessons to make a living.
His first acting role was in Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996) with Naomi Watts. He also starred in The Graveyard in 2006.
Salling (right, in 2009) is the second major actor from Glee to have died at a young age. His costar Cory Monteith (left) died from a drugs overdose in his Vancouver hotel room in March 2013
The actor (pictured, left and right, on Glee) reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in October. The agreement states a search warrant found more than 50,000 images of child porn on Salling’s computer and a thumb drive downloaded between April 2015 and December 2015
The Texas native has been romantically linked to many celebrities, including some of his co-stars on the musical show.
In 2008, he dated former The Hills star Audrina Partridge, but the relationship appeared to die out.
He was then in a relationship with co-star Naya Rivera, who plays Santana Lopez. In 2010 the relationship soured, and she was accused of egging his house and keying his Lexus in a jealous rage.
In 2011, he ended his fling with Gorzela before their legal issues began. In 2014 he was spotted at Cochella music festival with another co-star Lea Michele.
However the relationship never flourished. More recently he dated 19-year-old Big Time Rush actress Denyse Tontz, but the two broke up some time last year.
If you are concerned about any issues involving suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255.