Hairstylist George Ortiz, who appeared on the reality show Project Runway, was found dead in his New York City apartment on Tuesday, November 15, NYPD Officer Arlene Muniz confirms to Us Weekly. He was 45.
Ortiz’s body was discovered by his roommates in their apartment on Riverside Drive in Hamilton Heights, Muniz said. Ortiz was last seen alive on Sunday, November 13, the Associated Press reports.
The Medical Examiner’s office confirms to Us Weekly they have ruled his death a suicide caused by asphyxia.
The hairstylist appeared in 53 episodes of the Bravo reality show for aspiring fashion designers from 2006 to 2010. Watch him in a scene from the show in the clip above. 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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