It’s a sad day for Storage Wars fans. Auctioneer and bargain hunter Mark Balelo is dead.
TMZ reports that someone who worked with 40-year-old Balelo at his liquidation and wholesale distribution company, Balelo, Inc., happened upon his lifeless body in a work garage Monday morning. Although carbon monoxide poisoning has not officially been declared the cause of death, Balelo was sitting in a running car when his body was found.
This news comes just days after Balelo was taken into police custody for alleged possession of a controlled substance. Apparently after Balelo was released from jail, he appeared very “distraught” and “afraid he might hurt himself.” His fiancée stayed by his side most of Sunday, attempting to push back these dark feelings. She left some time late Sunday evening, leaving Balelo alone at his workplace.
Although he had a rough bout of it recently, Balelo was a pretty successful guy. Balelo, Inc. is still going strong, supported by some star-studded deals, including one which involved helping actor Nicolas Cage recover a stolen 1930s comic book. (The pair found the item in a storage locker.) Balelo was also well-known among Storage Wars fans, having appeared on a number of episodes of the A&E hit storage-locker auction reality series.
Since Balelo’s passing became public knowledge, a number of Storage Wars stars have offered their condolences on Twitter.
“Mr Balelo may you now be removed from your demons,” fellow auction hunter Darrell Sheets wrote Monday. “I will pray for your soul and loved ones”
“Our hearts & prayers go out to Mark’s small children & family as well as his devoted fiancé[e] Elizabeth,” auctioneer Dan Dotson added.