Former Glee star Mark Salling's death is officially ruled a suicide in a coroner's report that comes two days after the actor died.
Salling, 35, was found dead near a river in the Sunland-Tujunga neighborhood of Los Angeles, California on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Earlier that day, a family member reported him missing.
An autopsy was conducted on Salling's body by the Los Angeles Coroner Office. The report confirmed that the actor's cause of death is asphyxia by hanging with suicide as the manner of death.
"The case is now closed and the body is ready for pick up," Ed Winter, a rep of the Coroner Office says to Us Weekly.
Salling's Child Pornography Case
The former Glee actor was awaiting sentencing in a child pornography case that he signed a plea deal for. Sentencing was supposed to be scheduled on March 7.
Investigators recovered over 25,000 photographs and 600 videos of child pornography in the actor's personal computer and hard drive. Some of the material included children as young as 3 years old.
In mid-December 2017, the actor pleaded guilty for possession of child pornography that involves prepubescent children. The plea deal states that he will get jail time of four to seven years along with getting registered as a sex offender and enrolling in a rehabilitation program.
Among the stipulations of the deal is a $50,000 compensation to each victim.
A source who's close to the case says to Us Weekly that the actor's estate might not even have to pay the victims now, since restitution is part of sentencing, which was supposed to take place in March.
Now that Salling is dead and cannot be sentenced, the source reveals that it follows that no restitution order can be reached as well.
"I am unclear as to how anyone feels that they could go into court to enforce an order which has not been entered," the source explains. "I'm not saying that there isn't some lawyer out there willing to file suit on behalf of someone claiming to be a victim. But I am saying, that there is no order to be enforced, for $50,000 or any other amount on behalf of anyone."
Troy Slaten, a criminal defense lawyer who's not involved in the actor's case, argues that victims can instead sue Salling's estate in a civil court. Financial awards for the damages can potentially go up to millions, but it has to be done quickly to keep the assets from being redistributed.
Slaten pointed out that since Salling pleaded guilty, proving liability is no longer necessary and the amount in damages is the only thing that has to be determined.