Investigators said the 39-year-old Choi was found hanging from an electrical cord in the attic of his apartment. His mother first found him and called police and a 119 rescue squad around 2:14 p.m. Choi was rushed to Gangnam Severance Hospital for CPR at 2:46 p.m. but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Choi’s mother went to her son’s apartment after she received a phone call from Choi’s college friend saying that Choi had failed to pick up her phone calls.
“No suicide note was found in Choi’s apartment,” an investigator said. “Some say he committed suicide after suffering from depression, but that’s mere speculation. We’ll thoroughly investigate the case to determine the exact cause of death.”
As there was no evidence of a break-in, however, police tentatively said it appears Choi committed suicide. Police have ordered an autopsy.
An official at Mcloud Entertainment, which represented Choi, said the agency is shocked by the news. “There were no signs of Choi feeling bad recently,” the official said. “Last month Choi signed a contract with us to make comeback on local TV.”
An official at a broadcasting company, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Choi had been on medication for depression.
In an interview earlier this month, Choi told reporters that he decided to resume his work because he wanted to be a proud uncle to his 10-year-old nephew and 8-year-old niece, of whom he gained custody after his sister’s death 18 months ago.
Choi Jin-sil was one of Korea’s most beloved actresses before committing suicide at the age of 40 after suffering from depression. She had reportedly been suffering extreme mental stress because of Internet rumors that linked her to actor Ahn Jae-hwan, 36, who committed suicide in September 2008.
Rumors online said Choi had loaned the actor 2.5 billion won ($2.2 million). Ahn killed himself apparently under pressure after a series of businesses failures.