Former Glee star Mark Salling has died at the age of 35. The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner has not been able to confirm the cause of death, but TMZ is reporting that it was an apparent suicide by hanging. Salling was found hanging from a tree near a baseball field in Los Angeles, California.
Authorities were reportedly asked to perform a "welfare check" on the former actor after a family member came to the LAPD reporting that he had gone messing. It's said that he had been dead for "some time" when his body was discovered. Mark Salling recently plead guilty in a child pornography case and sentencing was set to take place in March. The news of Salling's untimely death has been confirmed by the Associated Press in a tweet.
"Breaking: Attorney: Ex-'Glee' star Mark Salling, who had been awaiting sentencing on child porn charges, dies in Los Angeles area."
Mark Salling was facing four to seven years in prison and 20 years of supervised release, following a guilty plea he made in December of possessing child pornography. The once-promising actor was initially arrested in 2015 after his ex-girlfriend reported Salling was in possession of child pornography. According to the case filing, Salling was in possession of 50,000 images and videos of child porn and erotica, which were found on his laptop. Salling also had roughly 4,000 photos and 160 videos of child porn which were found on a USB flash drive. As part of Salling's plea, he was going to have to register as a sex offender and pay a $50,000 restitution to each of the victims who requested it. The former actor was said to have attempted suicide previously when he cut his wrists in August of last year.
The 35-year-old was best known for his role as Noah Puckerman, aka Puck, on Fox's hit musical series Glee from 2009 to 2015. The series ran for 121 episodes in total, with Mark Salling appearing in 96 of them. Some of his other acting credits include Children of the Corn: The Gathering, the TV movie Rocky Road and an episode of the long-running Chuck Norris TV series, Walker, Texas Ranger. Salling was slated to star in the movie Gods and Secrets, but was dropped from the cast following his indictment in the child pornography case. Michael Proctor, Salling's lawyer, also confirmed the death in a statement made to USA Today.
"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."
Mark Salling's attorney says that he was not trying to kill himself when it was reported that he had cut his wrists last August. Salling's family has yet to release a statement regarding his passing. The news of Mark Salling's death was first reported by TMZ.