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‘Project Runway’ hairstylist kills himself with gas


Hairstylist George Ortiz, 45, who also appeared on “Project Runway,” was found dead inside his Manhattan apartment. The death was ruled a suicide.



Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 10:52 PM

A celebrity hairstylist who appeared on “Project Runway” used a plastic bag and a hose to a nitrogen tank to kill himself in his Manhattan apartment, police sources said.

A roommate found George Ortiz, 45, face-up on the bed of his Riverside Dr. apartment near W. 151st St. in Hamilton Heights at about 7:20 a.m. Tuesday, sources said.

The bag was around his head and duct-taped to his neck, sources said. A hose led from the bag to the nitrogen tank.

Ortiz hadn’t been seen for a few days, and on Nov. 12, he wrote on Facebook, “Don’t cry for me,” sources said.

Ortiz appeared on the Bravo reality show from 2006 to 2010.

“I’ve been very blessed, very lucky, that things happened really quickly for me once I decided — well not decided, one I discovered my passion for hair,” Ortiz said in a 2010 trailer of a documentary film.

Hairstylist George Ortiz appeared on "Project Runway" from 2006 to 2010.

Hairstylist George Ortiz appeared on “Project Runway” from 2006 to 2010.

(TheSalonGuy via Vimeo)

His death has been ruled a suicide, caused by asphyxia by covering of head with fastened plastic bag and displacement of oxygen by nitrogen, according to the city Medical Examiner’s office.

“He was a good dude. He was a real nice guy. He’d speak to me, he’d just say hello — he was always singing,” said his neighbor, Donald Gatland, 75. “He thought he was a tenor. He used to sing high-pitched. He was real friendly.”

Gatland said Ortiz’s death came as a big shock to his neighbors.

“Matter of fact, it would seem like it was three days ago me and him was talking, you know, he said hello,” he said.


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