The 33-year-old domestic violence survivor was found unresponsive in her home on April 16 after a concerned friend called the Austin Police Department and requested a wellness check when they had not heard from Mattingly.
Trigger warning: This story contains graphic details of suicide.
Former Playboy Playmate Ashley Mattingly passed away after battling alcohol and substance abuse for the past two years. The 33-year-old domestic violence survivor was found unresponsive in her home on April 16 after a concerned friend called the Austin Police Department and requested a wellness check when they had not heard from Mattingly, reports the Independent. The official cause of death is yet to be known as a spokesperson for the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office in Austin, Texas, said on Monday that any toxicology or autopsy into Mattingly’s official cause of death could take at least 30 to 90 days, according to the New York Post.
Although, her twin brother William (Billy) and sister Christy maintain that their sister died by suicide leaving behind a suicide note, the contents of which still remain unknown. Speaking to PEOPLE, the siblings said that Mattingly, who had been trying hard to get better, moved closer to home and was living in Travis County outside of Austin, Texas. "We learned late Thursday night that it is believed that our dear sister with a larger-than-life personality took her own life," read the statement they provided to the outlet. "Ashley moved closer to home a couple years ago and was living in Austin. It’s maybe no secret that Ashley struggled with alcohol and substance abuse, but she wanted to and was working toward getting better," William and Christy explained.
"A friend, whom we are thankful for, called the police for a wellness check and she was found unresponsive her in home. As part of an ongoing investigation, the police have notes that we are told she left behind and we are anxious to read them. She will continue to live on through nieces whom she loved dearly and always thought of no matter how far away she was, a twin brother, two sisters, and numerous other friends and family members. We will forever cherish her memories and know that her joy is eternally sealed. We look forward to seeing her again," they continued.
The statement further revealed that the siblings are looking after the 9-month-old golden retriever puppy named Miss Jean, that Mattingly had adopted recently to help with her loneliness. "Our hope is that Ashley’s story can continue to shed a light on suicide awareness and prevention," read the statement concluding, "We love you, Ashley." On hearing the heartbreaking news about her fellow former playmate, Carrie Stevens took to Twitter and shared her grief along with a picture of the two with Hugh Hefner, who sadly passed away in 2017. Urging people to reach if they are struggling, the 50-year-old wrote: If you are struggling please reach out for help.
My condolences. Anytime someone is in so much that only option they can see is the permanent one is a very sad day. I hope her family has support.— Scott Steadman Lucas (@steadman_lucas) April 20, 2020
Mattingly began leading a troubled life after being named Playboy's Miss March 2011. In 2012, her former boyfriend actor Lane Garrison was convicted of domestic battery against Mattingly when surveillance footage showed him slapping her at her Beverly Hills apartment, reports Daily Mail. At the time, the former Prison Break star argued that he was trying to retrieve his cellphone that Mattingly had grabbed. After spending two months in prison, the 39-year-old actor pleaded no contest to a charge of domestic battery and was sentenced to probation, counseling and a fine. In 2016, Mattingly herself had a run-in with the law after she was arrested for allegedly plowing her golf cart into 4 parked cars while being under the influence, reports TMZ. However, she denied the charges, according to PEOPLE.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.