Street Outlaws Mechanic Christopher ‘Kentucky’ Ellis, 39, Found Dead in His Home

chris ellis/instagram Chris Ellis

Christopher Ellis, best known by his nickname “Kentucky” on Discovery Channel’s Street Outlaws, has died at the age of 39.

The car mechanic was found dead at his home in Oklahoma City on Sept. 9.

Authorities believe Ellis died of an apparent heroin overdose, according to a police report obtained by TMZ,

Ellis’ roommate and two other friends told police they discovered his body after they had not heard from him in two days, according to the outlet. The roommate reportedly told authorities that he had tried checking up on Ellis earlier, but his door was closed and locked.

An initial autopsy was inconclusive and a toxicology report is pending, TMZ reported.

Chris Ellis/instagram Chris Ellis

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A spokesperson for the Oklahoma City Police Department and the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Raised in Pendleton County in Kentucky, Ellis was originally a cast member on the first season of Street Outlaws but continued to make appearances as a mechanic on the show until 2018.

“A hard worker and quick learner, Chris excelled in working with his hands at multiple trades, but eventually settled on a career as a street-racing auto mechanic,” his obituary reads. “He became known for his dedication to his job and his quick sense of humor at Midwest Street Cars Automotive in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.”

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In addition to working on cars, Ellis enjoyed hunting and spending time outdoors, according to the tribute.

“He was generous and kind, and knew exactly how to make the people he loved smile,” his obit reads. “Chris was a dearly-loved brother, son, and friend who will be deeply missed by all who knew him.”

Ellis is survived by his mother Loleta Sullins and his six siblings.

A funeral service has been scheduled for Friday.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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