Storage Wars star dead after drug arrest
Storage Wars star Mark Balelo was found dead of suspected suicide just a day after being arrested on drug charges.
It's a terrible end to a really bad weekend: Storage Wars star Mark Balelo was found dead Monday morning just a day after being arrested on drug charges.
A coworker found Balelo's body in his car with the engine running inside the garage of the auction house. Police are calling the death suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Balelo was arrested on Saturday on drug-related charges, which while unspecified would have been a big deal considering the TV star's legal history: He was convicted on charges of selling or transporting a controlled substance in 2009, violated the terms of his probation by transporting a gun he found in a storage locker, was caught leaving the state — another probation violation — during a custody battle and spent 45 days in jail in 2012 for these transgressions.
According to TMZ, when Balelo was released from jail after this most recent arrest, he called his fiancée, distraught, asking her to come over because he was afraid he was going to hurt himself.
Elizabeth Metzidis met Balelo at the auction house office featured in the A&E reality show, a source said, and they spoke for several hours. She left Sunday evening after he took a nap and awoke seemingly in a better frame of mind.
The coworker found his body when opening the office Monday morning.
In an interview with RadarOnline two months before his death, Metzidis said Balelo was turning his life around.
"I want people to know that Mark has a heart of gold," she said. "I want people to know he is a very good person who was just in a bad situation."
"I have a son who has autism and he's been very active raising money for that cause. At auctions, he'll donate a [storage] lot for the cause," she said. "It's a bad situation and he's trying to get custody of his kids. Those charges were in his past."
An autopsy is expected Tuesday.