Josh Marks Suicide Update: ‘Masterchef’ Finalist Diagnosed with Second Mental Illness Shortly Before Death, Family Claims Cooking Show was ‘Stressful’
"Masterchef" finalist Josh Marks' death has been ruled a suicide by the Cook County medical examiners. The family claims Marks was never the same after appearing on the reality cooking show and had been recently diagnosed with a second mental illness shortly before he died, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Paulette Mitchell, Marks' mother, told the newspaper that her son began suffering anxiety shortly after the show aired and was prescribed medication. That started a downward spiral for the 26-year-old which led to a July assault arrest, a more serious mental health diagnosis and eventually his death.
Mitchell said she was the one who discovered her son in the alleyway dead from a gunshot wound to the head on Friday, Oct. 11. A revolver was also found near the body. Mitchell said he had just completed an out-patient treatment program the day before and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Earlier in the year he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
"He couldn't bear the thought of another diagnosis," she said. "He was just coming to accept the diagnosis of bipolar."
"I think people think mental illness is a crime," said Marks stepfather, Gabriel Mitchell.
The family said they wanted to go public with the suicide to "bring awareness to the lack of treatment options for the mentally ill." They also hope to start a foundation in his name to educate other peole about mental illness.
Mitchell said after she picked Marks up form Mercy Hospital and Medical Center treatment program on Thursday, she said she noticed that he was upset over the diagnosis and decided to stay with him at her father's house that night. She spent most of Friday with him but had to leave to pick her daughter up from school. A few hours later, she received a call from her brother that Marks was spotted walking in an alley with a gun.
"I started driving down the alleys," she said. "I didn't reach my boy in time."
According to the family, the process of filming "Masterchef" was stressful for Marks, who was disappointed he lost to winner Christine Ha. Mitchell said she didn't see any warning signs of mental health problems until about two months after the show ended when Marks began to hear voices and became delusional. The family claims some of the delusions centered around Gordon Ramsay.
Despite losing the show Marks had dreams of becoming a celebrity chef and had started to make appearances.