PLYMOUTH — The New York Post reported that the cause of death for Breaking Bad and Detroit Unleaded Arab American actor Mike Batayeh, who died June 1 at his Michigan home, has been confirmed.
The Post reported that it received an email from a representative of the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner’s Office, who revealed that the 52-year-old performer died by “asphyxia hanging.”
No further details were released by the office.
Batayeh’s family had previously told several media outlets and posted on social media that he died in his sleep of a heart attack and that his passing was very sudden, with relatives adding that he did not have a history of heart issues.
A Pittsfield Township Police Department report obtained by The New York Post indicated that law enforcement had been called to his third-floor, one-bedroom apartment for an “unattended death” and “possible suicide.”
Actor Mike Batayeh died on June 1 at his Michigan home by “asphyxia hanging”, a form of death by suicide, according to a representative of the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner’s Office.
According to the police report, a male relative was aware of Batayeh’s “turbulent mental health” and that Batayeh had spent a weekend with him late last month “to distract himself.” The relative told the police that Batayeh had previously attempted suicide about a decade ago.
The report also noted that another witness, identified as Batayeh’s “therapist”, claimed that the actor had been his client “off and on for the past seven years” and he had become concerned when Batayeh missed a scheduled appointment on the morning of June 1.
However, Batayeh’s manager, Steve Owens, reiterated that the actor “died of a heart attack in his sleep”, without further comment according to the New York Post.
“He will be greatly missed by those who loved him and his great ability to bring laughter and joy to so many,” his family had said in a statement to TMZ, and a celebration of life service is set for June 16 in Plymouth, Michigan, his manager previously told The Post.
In his memorable role, Batayeh played Markowski — the manager of the Lavandería Brillante industrial laundromat, run by drug kingpin Gus Fring — in three episodes of AMC’s Breaking Bad, from 2011 to 2012.
Batayeh — a comedian and voice actor who made appearances in many shows, including Everybody Loves Raymond, The Bernie Mac Show, The Shield, Boy Meets World and CSI: Miami — also was featured in various movies, including 2006’s American Dreamz, 2011’s This Narrow Place and the 2012 drama Detroit Unleaded.
A Detroit native, he is survived by his five sisters, as well as nieces and nephews — the latter relatives calling him their “Funcle”, according to an obituary provided by the family that called him a “kind, sensitive, intelligent, and gifted soul.”
“Mike was always passionate about helping youth in the community where he lived and grew up facing similar challenges,” read another online obituary.
His family asked for donations to go to the Clark Park Coalition fund to support Southwest Detroit youth.