What Happened to Mark Balelo After 'Storage Wars'? Inside the Businessman's Tragic Life

Mark Balelo was the "Rico Suave" of 'Storage Wars', but his slow downfall after his appearances led to heartbreaking consequences. Details are ahead.

Emma Saletta - Author

Aug. 19 2023, Published 12:05 p.m. ET

If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call, text, or message the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Dial or text 988, call 1-800-273-8255, or chat via their website.

Mark Balelo is the man who bidders on Storage Wars describe as "Rico Suave" due to his sleek style and high cash offers during his six episode stint from 2011-2013. However, his life seemingly took a dark turn during his time on the show, and the aftermath is truly devastating.

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Mark's life throughout his Storage Wars years seemed to be a dream, as he was, after all, a wealthy businessman. Not all is what it seems, and that was made evident on February 11, 2013, the day he died by suicide.

So, how does a man with promise and a lavish lifestyle suffer such a cruel fate? Let's find out more about the former Storage Wars buyer and find out.

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Mark Balelo died before his final episode of 'Storage Wars' aired.

Mark appeared to be bidding on as many abandoned storage units as he could during this time on the show, usually leading to drama with Barry Weiss who stated he's "locker blocking everybody." But Mark did this up until his last episode "Auctioning for Dummies," which aired on April 16, 2013.

He appears with a custom made bag full of cash, and uses it to make all-cash offers on storage units for what was likely his auction business that he opened in 2011. However, by his final episode appearance, bidders are aware of his high cash offer habits, and use it to their advantage.

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Fellow buyer Nabila Haniss beat out Mark for a locker she didn't want, even saying that she "got stuck with it," and admitting to purposely running Mark up on cash. However, it appears it worked out for her in the end, as she discovers a puppet, which she gives to close friend and comedian Jeff Dunham.

However, Mark being cranky throughout the bidding war makes his final appearance on Storage Wars a possible bust.

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So, what happened to Mark that tragically made him want to end his life outside of 'Storage Wars'?

Mark was found dead by an employee at his auction house in Simi Valley, Calif. by two days after being arrested for drug-related offenses.

“Mark was arrested around 7:30 am for possession of a methamphetamine, basically simple possession, not to distribute," said Sgt. Dungan of the Simi Valley Police Department. "He was also charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance."

Once he was out of jail, he called his fiancée, and confessed that he was afraid he might hurt himself.

“Thank you to everyone for all your thoughts and kind words," his fiancée wrote on social media. "Mark lived for his friends and family and would so appreciate everyone here for their love."

If Mark were to have lived, his first court appearance following his arrest would've been on February 19, 2013. It is unclear how much jail time he may have faced, but it was possibly lengthy due to his prior offenses and jail time from 2007-2009.

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