Keith Flint took his own life just days after splitting from his DJ wife and putting his house up for sale, it was claimed tonight, as a final picture emerged of the Prodigy frontman running a 5K race only 48 hours before he died.
The 49-year-old musician was found dead at his country mansion near Dunmow, Essex, at around 8am on Monday morning.
His band mates later revealed he had ended his own life, three years after he stated in an interview that he 'wasn't saving up for anything' and said: 'When I'm done, I'll kill myself'.
The last photograph of Flint showed him looking fit and well as he ran the Chelmsford park run in a personal best time of 21 minutes 22 seconds on Saturday morning.
Fellow runner, journalist Rob Hadgraft, tweeted the picture and wrote: 'Sad news about Keith Flint – comes only two days after he'd looked in great shape and spirits, storming round the Chelmsford Parkrun in a PB.'
Last night it was claimed Flint had fallen into depression after a split from his Japanese wife Mayumi Kai had forced him to put the Essex farmhouse on the market.
Final picture: Keith Flint, 49, in orange bandana and bright green leg warmers, completed the Chelmsford 5k run in an impressive 21m22s on Saturday morning just two days before he apparently took his own life
Tonight it was claimed Keith Flint (pictured right in 2001) had fallen into depression after a split from his Japanese wife Mayumi Kai (pictured together left in 2009) had forced him to put his Essex farmhouse on the market
Keith Flint, the colourful frontman of the band The Prodigy (pictured in 2010), has been found dead at his home this morning
The split from his wife may also have prompted him to start taking drugs again, The Sun reported.
Friends had feared Flint would not reach his 40th birthday because of his drug use – he admitted using cannabis, cocaine and ‘a lot’ of alcohol before becoming addicted to prescription drugs.
He admitted feeling suicidal at that time but insisted he could never have gone through with it, explaining: ‘I was a coward.’
He is also said to have wanted to sell The Leather Bottle pub in Pleshey, Essex, after anti-hunting protesters had laid siege to the venue.
In an interview with FHM magazine in 2015, Flint said he 'wasn't saving up for anything' and was 'cashing it all now'.
In his trademark outspoken way, he added: 'I've always had this thing inside me that, when I'm done, I'll kill myself. I swear to God that's not suicidal – it's definitely a positive thing. The moment I start sh***ing the bed is when you'll see me on the front of a bus.'
He also said: 'I'm not frightened of who I am; I just want to look back and know that I've lived what I consider a fulfilled life. That's all. Happy days.'
Police found Flint unconscious this morning after 'concerns for his welfare' were raised. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bandmate Liam Howlett wrote on the band's Instagram page: 'The news is true, I can't believe I'm saying this but our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend. I'm shell shocked , f***** angry, confused and heart broken..... r.i.p brother.'
Flint's wife Mayumi Kai - a DJ who the star credited with saving him from a life of drugs - is understood to be in Japan, having been playing gigs in Tokyo since the New Year.
Flint, who was 49, was pictured with fans last month during a tour of Australia. His band planned to tour the US next month
The band posted this message on Instagram this morning, suggesting the star had taken his own life over the weekend
Flint became the face of 1990s rave when his energetic dance style and punk haircuts made him one of the chart's most recognisable characters. His band were best known for their fast-paced songs including Firestarter, Breathe and Smack My B**** Up.
Neighbours of Flint's £1.5million rural home in Essex told of their shock at his death today, saying they often saw him riding his horse about the village, running or cycling.
A 70-year-old man who gave his name as Rye said he saw Flint out running 10 days ago.
He said: 'He was going at quite a pace and he looked really well. He was about to go on tour in America and I know in the past when he was about to go on tours - because they are so physically demanding - he would start a fitness regime to get ready for them. He always seemed really cheerful.'
Jane Addison, who lives nearby and walks her dogs along a track next to the property every day, remembered Flint fondly as a 'friendly' animal-lover.
She said: 'I don't know how many dogs he had, maybe eight-ish dogs, and he'd go round the fields on his quad, and when he wanted them to come back to him he'd shout 'eggs and bacon'... He had lots of birds, canaries... in an aviary.'
Another local resident said: 'I saw the air ambulance this morning and the police were round this morning – I'm just in shock.
'He seemed alright, he just got back from his tour and goes out running everyday with his personal trainer. He is very fit.'
Police have not yet confirmed how the star, pictured (left) in 2011 and (right) in 2015, died. But they say the death is not being treated as suspicious
Flint (left), with bandmates Maxim and Liam Howlett at The Kerrang Awards in 2006
Flint's wife Mayumi - who is herself a DJ - is believed to have been on tour in her home country of Japan at the time of her husband's death.
Flint bought the country home and the surrounding estate in 1997 and his wife was given home rights last year.
Another local resident said today: 'He always put his hand up, always said hello, was always very pleasant. He was lovely, I met him a couple of times at drink dos, he was always very friendly and polite.
'He was always very well spoken to members of the community. He liked to ride and loved his dogs, the image you might think of him with rings in his nose was wrong, he was really nice.'
Police have not revealed the cause of his death, but said they are not treating it as suspicious.
An Essex Police spokesperson said: 'We were called to concerns for the welfare of a man at an address in Brook Hill, North End, just after 8.10am on Monday
'We attended and, sadly, a 49-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed. The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.'
Flint was found dead at his mansion (pictured) in the Essex countryside this morning. Bandmates said he took his own life
Dogs could be heard barking outside the address this morning and police could be seen coming and going from the house
Flint bought the country home and the surrounding estate in 1997 and as often seen riding through the village on his horse
The local ambulance service said they also attended Flint's house after he was found unconscious, but paramedics were unable to save him.
An East of England Ambulance spokeswoman said: 'We were called at 8.08am with reports of a man who was unconscious in Brook Hill, Dunmow.
'We sent an ambulance officer, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance and one ambulance. Sadly a man in his forties died at the scene.'
Flint's bandmate's said in a statement on Twitter: 'It is with deepest shock and sadness that we can confirm the death of our brother and best friend Keith Flint.
'A true pioneer, innovator and legend. He will be forever missed. We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time.'
Meanwhile, stars from around the world of music and showbusiness reacted with sadness to news of Flint's death this morning.
Actress Kathy Burke tweeted: 'He did what all music stars are meant to do; he frightened your mums and dads. RIP Keith Flint.'
Ed Simons of The Chemical Brothers tweeted: 'Oh gosh, so sad to hear about Keith Flint, he was always great fun to be around and very kind to Tom and I when we first started doing shows together.. great man.'
Radio broadcaster Jo Whiley tweeted: 'Oh this is sad news. The death of Keith Flint. Whenever our paths crossed he was an absolute sweetheart. Really lovely. Incredible iconic frontman with a soft centre. #RIPKeithFlint.'
Electronic music duo Chase and Status said: 'Absolutely devastated to hear the tragic news that the legend Keith Flint from @the-prodigy has passed away.
'Our thoughts & condolences are with all his friends and family. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Keith and the life changing music they made and championed. RIP.'
The Prodigy released their latest album No Tourists in November, their seventh consecutive number one record.
They had recently returned to the UK from a tour of Australia and were planning to head out to South and North America for a series of concerts next month.
They planned to tour a number of festivals in Europe this summer before playing at Clapham's South West Four event in August.
Glastonbury's co-founder Emily Eavis has confirmed The Prodigy were booked to perform at this summer's festival.
Posting on Twitter hours after the news was confirmed, Emily told fans the iconic electronic band had been booked for the 2019 festival, after previously headlining the world famous event in 1997 and 2009.
'We are so saddened to hear about the passing of Keith Flint. He's played here so many times with the Prodigy and was booked for 2019,' Emily wrote.
'What an incredible frontman. Here's a clip from '97 when they were the first dance band to headline Glastonbury - a huge, unforgettable moment,' she added, alongside video of the band's legendary performance.
In an interview in November, bandmate Liam Howlett insisted they were not a 'retro band' and strived to give their newest music a freshness.
He said: 'We're not a band that are embarrassed of our roots. We own that sound, we created it. We're not interested in reinventing ourselves, because we're happy with ourselves - we don't need to.'