Death comes days after "Storage Wars" star's drug arrest
Mark Balelo, a star of the A&E reality series "Storage Wars," was found dead of a suspected suicide at his business in Simi Valley, Calif., a police spokesman said. Balelo was 40.
Balelo had been arrested on drug charges over the weekend, and was found Monday, the spokesman for the Simi Valley Police Department told TheWrap.
Also read: 'Storage Wars' Staged, Fired Star Claims
His show has been under scrutiny since former cast member Dave Hester sued in December, claiming the series is rigged. A&E said the lawsuit was baseless.
Police are investigating Balelo's death.
He was found at approximately 6:05 a.m. Monday at the address of his business, Balelo, Inc. TMZ reported that he was found in a car in the garage, with the vehicle's engine running.
On Saturday morning, police responded to a disturbance at Balelo, Inc., and arrested the reality TV personality on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of methamphetamine, the police spokesman told TheWrap.
"We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our thoughts are with Mark's family," an A&E spokesman told TheWrap in a statement.
According to Balelo's A&E biography, he was born Jan. 31, 1973, in Madeira, Island, Portugal, and lived in Brazil, where his parents moved when he was three years old, until he was 14.
Balelo said in his bio that he moved to the U.S. to pursue his education, attending Orange Coast College and the University of Southern California. After working in the automotive industry, Balelo said, he began selling items on eBay, which eventually led to his own business.
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