CHICAGO — MasterChef contestant Joshua Marks, whose mental health issues became public after he was arrested for assaulting a police officer in July, has died in an apparent suicide, authorities said.
Marks' body was found face up shot in the head about 6:37 p.m. in an alley in the 9700 block of South Peoria Street near his Washington Heights home, police and the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said. An autopsy determined he died of a gunshot wound to the head.
A gun was found near his body and the wound appeared to be self-inflicted, said Officer John Mirabelli, a police spokesman.
Known as the "Seven-Foot Chef," Marks was the runner-up of the third season of the cooking show "MasterChef," starring the hot-headed Gordon Ramsey.
Marks, 26, was arrested after calling University of Chicago police from a campus Blue Light phone about 4 a.m. July 30, authorities said.
After that incident, an officer got out of his squad car in the 5400 block of South Kimbark Avenue and noticed injuries on Marks' face, court records show.
Marks hit and tackled the officer, later being subdued by another officer who came to the scene.
His lawyer and social media accounts attributed his behavior to mental health issues.
"The Josh that you are hearing about in police reports this morning is not the spirited Gentle Giant that we know," according to a statement posted on his Facebook page.
In August, a Cook County judge ordered a mental health assessment on Marks.
The television program tweeted its condolences Saturday morning, as did host Gordon Ramsey.
"Just heard the devastating news about Josh Marks. My thoughts are with his family & friends at this tragic time," he said.