Melanie Rauscher, 'Naked and Afraid' Contestant, Dies Suddenly at 35
Melanie Rauscher, who competed on two versions of "Naked and Afraid" on Discovery Channel, has died unexpectedly at just 35 years old.
Rauscher's sudden death was announced July 22 via a Legacy.com obituary, which noted, "Melanie Elizabeth Rauscher, of Prescott, Arizona, passed away suddenly on Sunday, July 17, 2022, at the age of 35. Devoted daughter of Daniel T. and Catherine A. Rauscher (nee Weissman), cherished sister of Jeanette (Rick), Rebecca (Calvin), and Alexis, and loving aunt to Aria and Liam Parker. Melanie will also be missed by many aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends."
Though details were not offered in the obit, TMZ confirmed Rauscher's death was "mysterious," reporting her body was found "near cans of dust cleaner" at a residence at which she had been dog-sitting for vacationing friends. (The dog was unharmed.)
There were no indications of foul play, there was no note, and there was no other drug paraphernalia.
It will be up to the Yavapi County Medical Examiner to rule on how Rauscher died.
Rauscher was on "Naked and Afraid" in 2013, returning for "Naked and Afraid XL" two years later.
Castmate Jeremy McCaa wrote an emotional tribute to his fallen friend on Facebook. "She came into my life in a way I can’t explain," he wrote. "We had such a chemistry on the show and it blossomed into a friendship that goes beyond words could describe. Her laughter was one of a kind. Her friendship was amazing. 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. You’ll always be my Mel. I love you and I’ll see you again one day. The world lost an amazing person. Please keep her family and friends in your prayers. See you again my Queen."
A celebration of Raushcer's life is being planned for October in Philadelphia. Family and friends have asked that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to PTSD Foundation of America.