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U.K. Teacher Accused Of Sex Crimes Dies Of Apparent Suicide Before Arrest

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A U.K. music teacher accused of sexually abusing students died of an apparent suicide today in his Los Angeles apartment before U.S. Marshals could take him into custody.

Christopher Howard Ling, 58, a violin teacher from a prestigious music school in Manchester was wanted in the U.K. for multiple accounts of sexual abuse against young female students, some as young as 12 or 13. Today, U.S. Marshals went to Lynn's Sherman Oaks apartment—where he had resided on a work visa—in order to serve him a warrant for his arrest in the U.K., according to City News Service. But when deputy marshals arrived at 6 a.m. to his apartment on Dixie Canyon Place, they found Lynn dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Ling had moved to Los Angeles in the 1990s, following abuse allegations concerning as many as 10 former students at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, England in the 1980s that ended without charges, according to the Daily Mail. In Los Angeles, he operated a talent management agency that represented conductors and classical soloists, according to The Guardian.

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However, following a series of new abuse allegations, U.K. authorities asked Ling to return to Britain for questioning by detectives early last year. Ling, however, did not comply and was threatened with extradition. U.S. Marshals arriving today intended to take Ling into custody to take him back to England.

In 2013, The Guardian reported that Ling was known for working long hours with students, including musical courses held in his home during the holidays. While he soon became the most sought-after violin teacher at Chetham, he also reportedly took the then-underage students to drink at pubs. According to four of the women who accused Ling of sexual abuse he was “grooming them for sexual activity by asking them to play naked, and sometimes attempted to take naked photos of them in a makeshift photography studio he had set up in his house.”

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone, remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt, and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.