Mark Salling's Death Ruled Suicide by Asphyxiation: Coroner

Coroner Assistant Chief Ed Winter confirms that the former Glee star's autopsy has been completed

Mark Salling’s cause of death was asphyxia by hanging and has been ruled a suicide, Los Angeles Coroner Assistant Chief Ed Winter confirms to PEOPLE.

The former Glee star’s autopsy has been completed and his body can now be picked up by family, says Winter.

Winter previously said that Salling was found hanging from a tree in the area of the Los Angeles River in Sunland. He was pronounced dead at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at the age of 35.

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Salling’s death came just a month before he was to be sentenced to prison for possession of child pornography.

He was arrested in December 2015 after LAPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit obtained a search warrant for his home in Sunland, California. Federal investigators say 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.

He pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor in October. After striking a plea deal in December, he was due to be sentenced in March and expected to serve four to seven years in prison.

Salling’s attorney Michael Proctor confirmed the news of the troubled actor’s death in a statement to PEOPLE.

“I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning,” said Proctor. “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. 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.”

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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