According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Ellingson was found dead in the bedroom of a Fontana residence at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
San Bernardino police said there were no obvious signs of foul play. A cause of death has not yet been determined, and an autopsy was scheduled for Monday. An investigation by law enforcement is ongoing.
According to TMZ, which first reported the news, Ellingson’s father said the former child star had battled substance abuse disorder and died in the sober living home where he was staying. His father told the outlet that Ellingson had been doing much better and that his death came as a shock to the family.
Born July 1, 1988, Ellingson grew up in La Verne with his three brothers. He was discovered at 10 years old at a skate park and invited to skate for the Vans PeeWee team and star in a commercial for the shoe company. Ellingson then landed guest spots on “Mad TV” and went on to work in television. He was a series regular on the 2000 Fox sitcom “Titus” and, in 2004, portrayed Kyle Savage in the ABC sitcom “Complete Savages” alongside Keith Carradine and Erik von Detten.
In 2007, he starred as Josh Bauer in “24” alongside Kiefer Sutherland, and from 2007 to 2010 he played Kyle Harmon, the son of David Caruso’s character, Lt. Horatio “H” Caine, on “CSI: Miami.”
In 2009, Ellingson starred alongside Cameron Diaz, Alec Baldwin and Abigail Breslin in the dramatic film “My Sister’s Keeper.” In 2005, he was nominated for a Young Artist Award for best performance in a TV series for “Complete Savages.” He had 20 acting credits but hadn’t appeared onscreen for more than 10 years.
In 2021, the former actor found refuge at the River’s Edge Ranch, where he sought recovery for substance abuse. “Life before the drugs was kinda just fun. I’ve always been kind of a [people] person,” he said in a testimonial posted to the ranch’s YouTube. “I would say around 19 is when I got into the heavy drugs.
“My rock bottom was when I was 19. My older brother Austin, he died from a heroin overdose, and when he died … it sent me over the edge,” the former actor continued.
“Once my brother passed away, I just kind of realized that there was much more to life, and how important people were. I would have given everything that I had to be able to get my brother back, and I knew I couldn’t. And so it sent me on this downhill spiral where everything just got really dark and scary and things weren’t fun anymore. … It became more of a deep bondage that I couldn’t get out of.
“There’s a lot of things that God has shown me since I’ve been here at the ranch. I’m starting to see why things were happening the way they were and what God was doing. … God has restored my mind. I have peace now again, I have hope. … I’m super excited about life. I know that there’s hope for me, and now I just want to let other people know that there’s hope.”