James "L.B." Bonner, who starred in the most recent season of the reality TV series "My 600-lb Life," has been found dead at age 30.
Tipping the scales at 650, Bonner was a fan favorite on the TLC program, losing more than half his body weight and battling dependencies on alcohol and food. He struggled with depression and obesity after losing a leg in a traffic accident.
He was found Thursday in a ditch near his South Carolina home with a gunshot wound, according to several media reports.
TLC confirmed the death Friday in a statement.
"TLC was deeply saddened to hear of LB’s passing and is honored to have shared his honest and courageous story on 'My 600-lb Life.'''
The network did not list a cause of death, but listed a suicide hotline number for those "in emotional distress or suicidal."
Family and friends posted to social media that Bonner had taken his own life. TMZ, saying it had obtained a police report, said the death was under investigation and authorities had not yet ruled it a suicide.
Bonner had posted a cryptic message Thursday night to his Facebook page, writing, "I
just want to say thank you to everyone who has shown me love and support throughout my journey...I've realized a few things over the last few days and its time that, I face my demons head on."
He added, "No matter what you change or the efforts you put forth in life, sometimes you just have to take it on the chin and deal with things your own way ... Again, thank y'all so much ... Please don't ever let people you care about not know how you feel."
Niece Chelsea Boivin wrote on her Facebook account, I hope and pray your pain and suffering is lifted off your shoulders now. You created a huge impact on so many people through your journey of life, weight loss, and struggles. Flashbacks of the good times we had have come across all night and morning. You always included me and made sure people knew I was your niece. Rest easy!"
Hundreds of fans posted condolences on Bonner's Facebook account.
"God rest your soul, I’m so sorry that you felt this was your only way to deal with your pain. You were amazing and an inspiration to many, may you find peace with God," wrote LeAngela Bryant.
A phone message left by InsideEdition.com with the Lexington County Sheriff's Department was not immediately returned.