UPDATE: TMZ reports James "L.B." Bonner was found dead in a ditch at a park in Lexington, South Carolina, with a gunshot wound. The discovery was made after officers went to his home for a welfare check. Authorities are investigating, but are not seeking any persons of interest in the case. So far, his death has not been ruled a suicide.
James “L.B.” Bonner, who appeared on “My 600-lb. Life,” has died, reports RadarOnline.com. He was just 30.
Officers from the Lexington Police Department arrived to Bonner’s home in South Carolina at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday.
His cause of death is unknown, but there is speculation it may have been suicide. A friend told the site, “He passed away. I’m not sure how, but from looking at his profile, what people were saying is he took his own life.”
Bonner thanked fans in his final Facebook post on Thursday, 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.. 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…”
He added, “Please don't ever let people you care about not know how you feel….”
Just a few days earlier he posted that he was “beyond blessed” and “thankful” after embarking on a “crazy journey to get healthy.”
James shared, “Since then I've come off several meds, become WAAAAAYYYYYYYY active, have lost well over half my body weight and probably the thing that means the most to me, I got to a point where when my family needed me, I was physically able to step up and run my Dads flooring business.”
He ended by telling fans “there is a HUGE potential for all of us.”
Bonner had been through a lot, but seemed to be doing well. He had struggled with obesity from a young age, tipping the scales at 400 lbs. in high school. When he lost his leg following an ATV accident at 25, he used food and alcohol to cope. His weight reached 650 lbs. during that time.
James turned his life around through diet and exercise. He quit drinking and lost weight with the help of lap-band surgery. At the time of his death, he weighed around 200 lbs.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.