According to TMZ, Salling was found dead on Tuesday near a baseball field close to his California home, after family members notified police he was missing. According to law enforcement sources who spoke to TMZ off the record, the star committed suicide. There's been no official statement from police, however, as The Hollywood Reporter writes that law enforcement officials are waiting to publicly comment on the actor's cause of death pending notification of his family.
Salling was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in October to numerous counts of possession of child pornography, with investigators reporting that the actor had been found with more than 50,000 images and 600 videos depicting abuse of children as young as three years old. As part of his plea deal, he was expected to serve between four and seven years in prison, as well as register as a sex offender. A sentencing hearing had been scheduled for March.
Salling was first arrested in December 2015, after an ex-girlfriend reportedly tipped off police to his activity. The actor played Noah "Puck" Puckerman on musical dramedy "Glee," which ran on Fox from 2009 through 2015.