Body of “Bachelorette” contestant Julien Hug found in remote area

Posted: November 9, 2010 by The STR in NEWS & LOCAL NEWS
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Riverside County Coroner’s Bureau said Friday that Julien Renaud Hug, son of the owners of Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe and the restaurant’s manager, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and his parents said he left a letter saying he was suffering from acute depression.

Hug, 35, was the only child of Bertrand and Denise Hug, who also own Bertrand at Mister A’s in Bankers Hill. He was a 1993 graduate of Torrey Pines High School and received national attention last year when he appeared as a bachelor contestant on the ABC reality show “The Bachelorette.”

“Our son meant the world to us, and this came as a complete shock,” his parents said in a statement Friday. “We are beyond devastated and completely distraught. In his letter to us he stated that he was suffering from acute depression and felt it was his only way out. While publicly outgoing, he was an extremely private person who internalized everything. What we saw was his thirst for life with fast cars, motorcycles and his love of sky diving.”

Hug had been driving to Palm Desert when his parents reported him missing on Monday. He had moved there three months ago to manage the family’s newest restaurant, Augusta Modern.

He started work in the family business as a teenager washing dishes at Mille Fleurs. He took over as manager several years ago, and frequent patrons described him as a beloved presence who was kind, charming and gracious. He was active in many local charitable causes, as are his parents.

Hug’s body was removed by helicopter Thursday in a remote area of the San Bernardino National Forest east of Anza off Highway 74. His Jeep was found Wednesday on a U.S. Forest Service access road. The letter to his parents was found inside the vehicle.

He also is survived by a grandfather, Alfred Hug of Figeac, France, along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Nov. 12 at Village Church in Rancho Santa Fe. In lieu of flowers, the family suggested contributions to the Julien Hug Memorial Fund, care of the church, P.O. Box 704, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067.

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