“Storage Wars” cast member Mark Balelo, 40, was found dead in his car on Monday at his auction house in Simi Valley, California. The cause of death has not been yet confirmed but it seems he committed suicide. He was often called “Rico Suave” on the show because of his eye-catching outfits. Balelo was engaged to his girlfriend Elisabeth Metzidis.
Mark Balelo’s fiancee Elisabeth Metzidis, posted today, Feb. 12, on her Facebook page:
“Thank you to everyone for all your thoughts and kind words. Mark lived for his friends and family and would so appreciate everyone here for their love. We are truly and completely devastated by this. Mark was everything. EM.”
The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office did not give a cause of death for Balelo. However, TMZ reports he was found dead in his car, which had been left running, and died from carbon monoxide poisoning. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.
Balelo was arrested on Saturday for alleged possession of a controlled substance and he was scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 19. After his release from jail, he called his fiance Elizabeth Metzidis and told her that he might hurt himself. The two spoke at his office for a couple of hours, he took a nap, and seemed better. Elizabeth left on Sunday.
Balelo owned Balelo, Inc., which purchased the contents of storage lockers and liquidated their assets.
In 2011, when Mark Balelo was sentenced to spend 132 days in prison for transporting a firearm, his girlfriend defended him stating:
“When he buys storage units we come across weapons, drugs, and all kinds of things. There was a situation in June 2011 where he was carrying the contents of several units and was stopped by police. They asked if he was on probation and he said yes. So they searched everything and found things Mark didn’t even know was in the car. I want people to know that Mark has a heart of gold. There’s a very dear and good side to him. I have a son who has autism and he’s been very active raising money for that cause. He is a very good person who was just in a bad situation.”
Elisabeth Metzidis Mokma a mother of three was born on March 26, 1971 in Cincinnati and lives in Simi Valley. She graduated from Marina High School in 1989 and went to UCLA. She currently is Controller in Balelo, Inc. since 2010 and also owner of Metzidis & Associates since 2005.
Find Balelo on Facebook here.