‘Bachelorette’ contestant Julien Hug committed suicide
PINYON PINES (CNS) – A former contestant on “The Bachelorette” suffered from depression and shot and killed himself in a remote area off state Route 74 in the mountains above Palm Desert, coroners said today.
Julien Hug, 35, of San Diego, was found dead about 4 p.m. Wednesday in a forested part of the San Bernardino National Forest, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Riverside County Coroner's Office said late today.
“In his letter to us, he stated that he was suffering from acute depression and he felt it was his only way out,” Bertrand and Denise Hug told People magazine in a statement. “While publicly outgoing, he was an extremely private person who internalized everything.”
He left a note for his parents, girlfriend and coworkers.
“Our son meant the world to use and this came as a complete shock,” the parents told the magazine. “We are beyond devastated and completely distraught … What we saw was his thirst for life with fast cars, motorcycles and his love of skydiving.”
Hug was on his way to help manage his family's newest restaurant in Palm Desert, Agusta Modern, when he went disappeared.
He was reported missing Wednesday, when the Riverside County Sheriff's Office was asked to assist San Diego County sheriff's detectives in a search for the man, said sheriff's Sgt. Joe Borja.
During the investigation, the San Diego detectives received information that Hug may have been in a remote area east of Anza in the San Bernardino National Forest, Borja said.
Deputies found Hug's vehicle on a U.S. Forest Service access road, but because of dense foliage a sheriff's helicopter was called in to do an aerial check, he said.
About 4 p.m. Wednesday, deputies in the helicopter located a “deceased male in a remote area that was inaccessible to ground personnel,” the sergeant said.
Riverside County Coroner's deputies were hoisted to the location, but the body could not be moved because of the rugged terrain and the pending darkness, according to Borja.
Thursday morning, deputies removed the body and took it to the Coroner's Bureau in Perris, where the remains were identified as Hug, Borja said.
Hug graduated from Torrey Pines High School in 1993. His family owns the well-known Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe and Bertrand at Mister A's, a landmark restaurant near Balboa Park.