Hairstylist George Ortiz, who appeared on the reality show Project Runway, was found dead in his New York City apartment on Tuesday, November 15, the Associated Press reports. He was 45.
Ortiz’s body was discovered by his roommates in their apartment on Riverside Drive in Hamilton Heights, NYPD Lt. Thomas Antonetti told the Associated Press. Ortiz was last seen alive on Sunday, November 13, Antonetti said.
The New York Daily News reports that the Medical Examiner's office has ruled his death a suicide caused by asphyxia. The AP also confirms that the death is being investigated as a suicide.
The hairstylist appeared in 53 episodes of the Bravo reality show for aspiring fashion designers from 2006 to 2010. In a 2010 documentary trailer filmed by Salon Guy, Ortiz explained why he loved his job. “I’ve been very blessed, very lucky, that things happened really quickly for me once I decided — well, not decided, once I discovered my passion for hair,” he said.
Friends and celebrities have already taken to social media to mourn Ortiz. “So sad to hear about George Ortiz from @ProjectRunway,” Teresa Giudice tweeted on Thursday, November 17.
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