It’s a really sad time for the family, friends and fans of Tobias Strebel, a 35-year-old man who had undergone extensive plastic surgery to resemble Justin Bieber. He had been featured on several reality television shows to document his story. He was reported missing on August 18, 2015 and was last seen in West Hollywood. Unfortunately, he was found dead earlier this month. The exact details, including the cause, of his death are still under investigation.
Strebel first gained a fanbase, of sorts, after he was featured on the reality television shows, Botched and My Strange Addiction. During his appearances, he revealed that he had spent, at least, $100,000 on various surgical procedures to look more like Canadian pop star, Justin Bieber.
During an episode of Untold, Strebel explained his reasons for mimicking the singer to Maria Menounos: “What brought me to Bieber was the whole package: the full cheeks, the full temples, the bright open eyes, the full luscious lips, and spatial framing…[he’s] just extraordinarily beautiful.”
After garnering some attention, Strebel also began pursuing a music career under the name of Toby Sheldon.
The Bieber fan was last seen in West Hollywood on August 18, 2015 and was believed to be driving a 2009 Toyota Camry. His friend, Mel Espinoza told ABC7 that it was “very unusual for him to be missing. He hasn’t done any, not shown up for no reason, no note or anything.”
Found at Motel 6
It has been revealed that, on August 21, 2015, Strebel was found in a room at the Motel 6 in North Hills, California. Sadly, he was unresponsive and pronounced dead by the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office. The cause of death has not been confirmed but law enforcement did find drugs in the room. Some have speculated that Strebel was depressed following a break-up with his boyfriend.
Despite some of the unkind things some have said about this man with an unusual story, many remembered him fondly, including his plastic surgeon, Dr. Paul Nassif, the former star of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills who tweeted: “My deepest condolences go out to the family of Toby Sheldon. He was a good person with a great heart.”
Strebel’s death highlights the importance of providing support to those around us who seem to be dealing with depression, particularly if they are coping with a new stressor or life-changing event. If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.