My family loves “Storage Wars,” especially my eight-year-old son. It is not uncommon to hear him running around my house yelling “Yuuup” like Dave Hester.
I had to explain how Dave Hester, who is now suing A&E, isn’t going to be on the show anymore. Hester is claiming that the whole show, based on people purchasing storage units that have been abandoned, is a sham and A&E plants valuable items in the units.
Now, the show has suffered another tragedy that hopefully my son won’t notice. Mark Balelo was a buyer that the show introduced in season 2. A native of Brazil, he was a flashy, flamboyant character that was often referred to as “Rico Suave.”
Balelo was also known for his generous heart. Just last year, he returned a very valuable 1938 Superman comic book to Nicolas Cage. Cage had purchased the $1 million comic book, but it was stolen from his LA home in 2001. Balelo found it in an abandoned unit he had purchase and returned it to the star.
Yet, Balelo apparently had his demons. He was arrested last Saturday on suspicion of drug possession (methamphetamines I’ve read). Just a mere two days later, the 40-year-old reality star was dead due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
RadarOnline is reporting that Balelo gave his last interview to the site and admitted to a 2009 drug conviction. But, Balelo claimed he was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time. He had rented a hotel room in his name and he wasn’t there, but partying friends were busted
His fiancée said he was distraught after Saturday’s arrest and she was worried about him. She said she felt like he was better after a long nap on Sunday, so she left him at his auction house in Simi Valley, Calif. An employee found him in his car in the garage on Monday morning. The medical examiner said the cause of death was asphyxia by inhalation of carbon monoxide and exhaust fumes.