Former Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council director Mark Bellinger’s death has been confirmed as a suicide.
An autopsy report states Bellinger died as a result of diphenhydramine toxicity.
He overdosed on “a fair amount of Benadryl,” according to Stephen F. Boudreau, the coroner who performed the autopsy.
A toxicology report released with the autopsy report states 980 ng/ml of diphenhydramine was found in Bellinger’s body. Diphenhydramine is the active ingredient in common medications like Tylenol PM, Boudreau said, and the autopsy “speaks for itself.”
Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley confirmed Monday Bellinger “tried a couple ways to commit suicide” and indicated the autopsy helped rule out other theories about the manner of death.
“We thought all along it was the medicine,” Ashley said.
Bellinger, 52, resigned as executive director from the TDC on May 1 under the cloud of an unauthorized purchase of a $740,000 yacht.