Death of 'Storage Wars' regular Mark Balelo ruled a suicide

Nicknamed 'Rico Suave,' colorful entrepreneur had been arrested on drug rap. Photo: via Facebook

SIMI VALLEY, Calif., February 13, 2013 — Details continue to trickle out regarding the death of A&E “Storage Wars” regular, auction/liquidation house owner Mark Balelo. He was found Monday morning by one of his employees at his place of business. According to TMZ, Balelo’s car was parked and still running in the garage where his lifeless body was discovered. After concluding an autopsy on Tuesday, the Ventura County Medical Office ruled that Balelo’s death was a suicide dude to carbon monoxide inhalation.

According to the Ventura County Star, the death of Balelo, 40, occurred two days after authorities had arrested him on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, said to be methamphetamines. He’d been scheduled for a court date on February 19, according to the paper. He was said to have been distraught after being released by the police, confiding to his fiancée Sunday that he was afraid he might hurt himself.

A Portuguese immigrant, the flamboyant Balelo, whose nickname was “Rico Suave,” frequently bid on merchandise auctioned off from abandoned storage units, hoping to acquire unique inventory to auction off at his own business, Balelo Inc.

Sources say his office has not been answering phone calls and A&E has thus far declined comment on the incident.



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Terry Ponick

Now writing on investing, politics, music, and theater for the Washington Times Communities, Terry was the longtime music and culture critic for the Washington Times (1994-2009). 

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