The body of former “Glee” actor Mark Wayne Salling, who was awaiting sentencing for possession of child pornography, was found Tuesday near the Los Angeles River in the Tujunga area.

Los Angeles police made the discovery at 8:50 a.m. in the 11900 block of Big Tujunga Canyon Road. Coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said an autopsy was pending, but confirmed that the 35-year-old actor hung himself from a tree.

He left no suicide note, according to TMZ.com, which reported that police were in the area on another matter when they came upon Salling’s car, ran the plates and learned that it belonged to the actor, who had been reported missing, triggering a search that resulted in the discovery of the body.

Salling’s attorney, Michael J. Proctor, issued a statement confirming that his client died early Tuesday morning.

“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,” Proctor said. “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.”

Salling, who portrayed Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the now-defunct Fox series, pleaded guilty Dec. 18 to possession of child pornography and was scheduled to be sentenced March 7 in federal court in downtown Los Angeles.

Salling had agreed to serve at least four years behind bars. He had been named in a two-count indictment stemming from a December 2015 raid on his home, where Los Angeles police detectives found thousands of images and videos depicting child pornography, according to court papers.

According to the indictment, Salling received at least one illicit image and a pornographic video of young girls via the internet and was in possession of a 16-gigabyte USB flash drive that contained two videos showing girls who were younger than 12.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joey Blanch told the court that between April and December 2015, Salling used the internet to download 600 videos and about 29,000 images of sexually abusive “child erotica,” including some showing “sadistic and masochistic” behavior. Victims included children ages 2 to 6 years old, she said.

Salling knew that the material showed “real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” Blanch said.

Although he could have faced up to 20 years in federal prison, Salling’s plea deal called for a sentence of between four and seven years behind bars. The actor had also agreed to serve 20 years of supervised release once he was released and to pay at least $50,000 to each victim seeking restitution, the document shows.

[symple_googlemap title=”Glee Actor Body” location=”11900 block Big Tujunga Road, Los Angeles, CA” height=”300″ zoom=”15″]

 

–City News Service

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