(UPDATE, 3:30PM): Michael J. Proctor, Mark Salling's lawyer, has confirmed the news of the actor's death. “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," Proctor said in a statement to EW. "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.”
(Original Story, 1:30PM): Mark Salling has reportedly been found dead of apparent suicide, TMZ claims. The actor and former Glee cast member was 35.
His body was allegedly found near a riverbed in Sunland, Calif., according to law enforcement, but the way he died has not yet been announced. As of press time, no official statement from the LAPD has been made. The Los Angeles County Coroner's office could not confirm the death because the next of kin has not yet been notified, Hollywood Reporter states. Last December, Salling plead guilty for possession of child pornography. He was first arrested in 2015 on charges of possessing child pornography involving a prepubescent minor after his house was searched. Officers reportedly found 50,000 images on a laptop, hard drive and USB flash drive with victims whose ages ranged from three to five.
In 2016, Salling plead not guilty to the child pornography charges against him following his arraignment at a federal courthouse in Los Angeles. He was released on a $150,000 bail. Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the United States Attorney’s Office, stated, “He is going to be wearing an ankle bracelet for monitoring. He has been ordered to not have any contact with children, the Internet and drugs.” At the time, the actor was cut from the cast of Gods and Secrets following his federal indictment.
After officially pleading guilty in 2017, Salling was awaiting sentencing as the case was set to begin this March. According to TMZ, he was expected to get 4 to 7 years in prison as part of a plea deal. He would also have been required to register as a sex offender.
Salling was known for playing Noah "Puck" Puckerman on Fox's Glee during its run from 2009-2015.