Coroner: Scion of famed San Diego restaurant family shot himself - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Coroner: Scion of famed San Diego restaurant family shot himself

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Julien Hug, a well-known San Diego restaurateur and reality-show celebrity found dead this week in a remote Riverside County forest, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Friday.

Hug, 35, a former contestant on "The Bachelorette" television program, committed suicide in a wilderness area off state Route 74 in the mountains above Palm Desert, according to coroner's investigators and family members.

The 1993 Torrey Pines High School graduate, whose body was found late Wednesday afternoon, left behind a note for his parents, girlfriend and coworkers.

"In his letter to us, he stated that he was suffering from acute depression and he felt (suicide) was his only way out," his parents, Bertrand and Denise Hug, told People magazine in a statement. "While publicly outgoing, he was an extremely private person who internalized everything."

"Our son meant the world to us, and this came as a complete shock," the parents told the publication. "We are beyond devastated and completely distraught. ... What we saw was his thirst for life with fast cars, motorcycles and his love of skydiving."

The San Diego resident was supposed to be on his way to help manage his family's newest restaurant, Agusta Modern in Palm Desert, when he disappeared. He was reported missing Wednesday, Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Joe Borja said.

While searching for him, 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.

The airborne crew eventually located Hug's body "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 Riverside County Coroner's Bureau in Perris, where it was identified, Borja said.

The Hugs own two renowned San Diego-area restaurants, Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe and Bertrand at Mister A's alongside Balboa Park.

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