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Mark Salling Dead: How Did the 'Glee' Actor Die?

Former Glee star Mark Salling has died from apparent suicide, according to TMZ. The actor was 35.

Law enforcement officials have reportedly told the outlet that Salling's body was found hanging from a tree.

TMZ's sources say that around 3 am on Tuesday, one of Salling's family members went to the LAPD to report him as a missing person. Police subsequently conducted a "welfare check" on Salling that reportedly led them to the baseball field where his body was found. TMZ says the actor had been dead "for some time."

On Wednesday afternoon, USA Today spoke to Salling's lawyer, Michael Proctor, who confirmed his death but did not specify a cause. Proctor told USA Today, "I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning." Proctor continued, "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."

In December, Salling had pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography. As part of a plea agreement, he admitted to possessing thousands of images of children engaged in sexual conduct. At the time of his death, he was awaiting his sentencing, which was set for March.

At one point, Salling faced 20 years in prison with supervised release and registry as a sex offender, according to the Independent. With his guilty plea, however, he was expected to serve between four and seven years in jail. 

Federal investigators say more than 25,000 images and 600 videos of child pornography were found on Salling's computers and thumb drives, according to People. Court documents obtained by TMZ listed the children in the images and videos being as young as three years old.

In 2013, Salling was accused of sexual battery by allegedly forcing a woman to have unprotected sex without her consent. The woman was his ex-girlfriend Roxanne Gorzela. According to TMZ, Salling filed a countersuit saying that Roxanne entered his house without his permission and began to hit him on the chest, arms and face.  Two years later, Salling and Gorzela reached a settlement. TMZ reports that Salling paid the woman more than $2.7 million.

Salling was born in Dallas, Texas, and began home-schooling as a young boy. In high school, he began to pursue his interests as a rock musician. After graduating high school, he attended the LA Music Academy College of Music in California, where he studied guitar.

In 2008, Salling was cast as Noah Puckerman on Fox's Glee. His other film credits include Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering, The Graveyard, and Glee: The 3D Concert Movie.