Melanie Rauscher, who competed multiple times on the “Naked and Afraid” reality show, was found dead at age 35 this month at an Arizona home, police said.
Authorities say Rauscher’s body was discovered inside a house in Prescott, where she was taking care of the homeowners’ dog, according to TMZ.
The homeowners reportedly found Rauscher’s body on a bed once they got back from vacation on July 17.
Prescott Police say officials haven’t found any indication of foul play or drugs. Cans of compressed air were observed near Rauscher’s body, TMZ reported, though it’s unknown if they played a role in her death.
“Naked and Afraid” debuted on the Discovery Channel in 2013, with each episode following two contestants as they attempt to survive together for three weeks in the wilderness. They are left stranded without food or water — and they’re completely naked.
Rauscher competed on the main show in 2017, then returned the following year for the “Naked and Afraid XL” challenge.
Jeremy McCaa, who competed alongside Rauscher on “Naked and Afraid,” described her as an “amazing person.”
“We had such a chemistry on the show and it blossomed into a friendship that goes beyond words could describe,” McCaa wrote on Facebook following Rauscher’s death.
“Her laughter was one of a kind. Her friendship was amazing,” he continued. “Even tho we wasn’t blood, we was family. I could always count on her. We had so many moments when we would just be there for each other.
“She was my swamp wife, a best friend, a strong woman, an amazing person and I’ll always cherish our moments together. You’re gone to soon and taken from us to early.”