Actor Mark Salling, died Tuesday in what police say was suicide by hanging. The 35-year-old former Glee star was weeks away from sentencing after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.
Attorney Michael Proctor confirmed Sallings’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. “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.”
TMZ reports police were called to Sallings’s home at 8:50 a.m. to do a “welfare check” but eventually found his body near his Sunland, Calif., home. He had been dead for some time and, the outlet says, his family had reported him missing hours earlier.
Salling, who played Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the hit Fox show from 2009 to 2015, struck a plea deal in December and was due to be sentenced in March. He was expected to face a sentence of four to seven years.
Federal investigators said they found more than 25,000 images and 600 videos depicting child pornography on computers and thumb drives that belonged to Salling. The content depicted children as young as 3 years old being abused, according to court documents.
The actor has to register as a sex offender and enter a treatment program; have no verbal or electronic contact with anyone under the age of 18; stay 100 feet away from schools, parks, public swimming pools, youth centers, playgrounds and arcades; and pay $50,000 in restitution to each victim, according to the documents.