'Naked and Afraid' contestant dies at 35
(NEXSTAR) – A former contestant on the popular survivalist reality TV show “Naked and Afraid” has died, multiple outlets reported Sunday.
Melanie Rauscher “passed away suddenly,” according to her obituary. She was 35 years old.
Police told TMZ she was dog sitting at a home in Prescott, Arizona, where her body was found last Sunday. The medical examiner has not yet released a cause of death, but police told TMZ there were no “obvious” signs of foul play.
Rauscher appeared in a 2017 season of “Naked and Afraid” and a 2018 spinoff season, “Naked and Afraid XL.” In both iterations of the reality show, contestants are dropped into the wilderness with no clothing and few tools, competing to survive for a cash prize.
Fellow contestant Jeremy McCaa posted a tribute to Rauscher on Facebook. “We had such a chemistry on the show and it blossomed into a friendship that goes beyond words could describe,” he wrote. “Her laughter was one of a kind. Her friendship was amazing.”
“She was an avid outdoor enthusiast who loved nature and all creatures big and small,” her obituary remembers. “Melanie loved camping & hiking and finding adventure wherever she could.”
Rauscher served in the U.S. Navy and was working at the Prescott VA Medical Center at the time of her death, her obituary said.