Josh Marks, a contestant on the reality series MasterChef, was found dead of an apparent suicide on Friday night, TMZ reports. The aspiring chef had a gunshot wound to the head when he was found by Chicago police in an alley. The cops, who were able to retrieve the weapon, believe it was self-inflicted.
Marks was arrested this past July after he lunged at a police officer and attempted to take his gun. The reality star claimed he had been possessed by MastererChef judge Gordon Ramsay and had turned him into God. There was no evidence of drug use at the time. Months before the arrest, Marks revealed he suffered from bipolar disorder and, according to his mother Paulette Mitchell, was told just 24 hours before his death that he was schizophrenic.
Mitchell tells the Chicago Tribune that Marks had come to terms with his bipolar disorder diagnosis, but couldn't bear the thought of more bad news. When he was released from an outpatient treatment facility on Thursday, doctors dropped the bomb that he had schizophrenia. Mitchell claims her son was upset and she stayed with him until Friday afternoon, when she had to pick up her daughter. When she returned, family members were telling her that Marks was wandering in an alleyway, clutching a gun. By the time she found him, he was dead.
The family is hoping to start a foundation in his honor to help mental illness awareness. Our condolences go out to Marks' family.