Storage Wars Star Dead in Apparent Suicide

Mark Balelo had just been arrested on drug charges
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2013 8:25 AM CST
Mark Balelo is shown in a YouTube clip.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – Mark Balelo, a businessman who starred in a handful of Storage Wars episodes, was found dead at his workplace yesterday, the Ventura County Star reports. Though officials have not yet given a cause of death, multiple sources including TMZ are reporting the 40-year-old committed suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning, and that he was found dead in his running car inside a garage at his California auction house. Balelo had been arrested Saturday on suspicion of methamphetamine possession, and was scheduled to appear in court next Tuesday.

Sources say Balelo was upset when he was released from jail, and had his fiancée come over to make sure he didn't hurt himself. She left after a few hours, when he seemed better, on Sunday night; an employee found his body the next morning. Balelo's business bought the contents of storage lockers and liquidated them; he was featured on the show as a "deep-pocketed buyer," Huffington Post notes, and was best known for returning a stolen comic book worth $1 million to Nicolas Cage. Storage Wars is currently under scrutiny since a former cast member claimed the show is rigged.

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