Details Emerge About 'Glee' Star Mark Salling's Death; Cause of Death Revealed

The probe into the death of former Glee star Mark Salling continued on Wednesday (Jan. 31), with officials from the Los Angeles County Coroner's office telling ET that they are investigating it as a suicide by hanging. An LAPD information office said the investigation began just before 9 a.m. on Tuesday (Jan. 30) after a missing person's report was filed on the 35 year-old actor at the LAPD Foothills station six hours earlier.

On Friday (Feb. 2), E! reported that the Los Angeles Coroner closed the case and confirmed that the cause of death was asphyxia by hanging and the manner was suicide.

Corner Assistant Chief Ed Winter told People a day earlier that Salling's body was found hanging from a tree in the San Fernando Valley near his home in Sunland, California. An unnamed source also shared with the magazine that Salling's traditional, church-going Texas family is "devastated" by the loss and that his mother "had a hard time even grasping the reality of his dark past, so accepting his death -- she's a mess."

The actor/singer's death came just a month before he was to face sentencing in a child pornography case stemming from a 2015 raid on his home that led to an arrest after investigators said they found more than 25,000 images and 600 videos on his computer and a thumb drive. Salling plead guilty in Oct. 2017 to possession of child pornography and reached a plea deal in December that could have netted him between four to seven years in prison.

In a statement, Salling's attorney Michael Proctor confirmed his clients death, saying, "I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning. 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.” The official cause of death has not yet been revealed pending an autopsy.

A source told Us Weekly that Salling's estate may not have to pay his victims the restitution they were owed in the case following his death, which could have ranged up to $50,000 for the known victims. “Restitution would be a part of his sentence. The amount of the restitution is determined by the sentencing judge … He will not be sentenced," the source said. "Therefore there will be no restitution order. Therefore I doubt that there is anything to take to civil court. Any restitution order would be allocated among multiple known victims.” And expert not affiliated with the case told Us that victims could still sue Salling's estate in civil court.

Though many of Salling's high-profile former co-stars on Glee have not released statements on his death, Jane Lynch -- who worked with him on the show from 2009-2015 -- spoke out on Wednesday night at the Adopt the Arts' Annual Rock Gala. "It's been tough. He was a troubled, troubled guy, and he always was," Lynch told Us. "This is a very sad end to it, but I know that he's at peace now. He's in the arms of a beneficent force. I know life was very, very hard for Mark. I think we all do the best we can at the end of the day. I know Mark did the best he could... He was a hard guy to get to know."


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