The Tragic Death Of Naked And Afraid Star Melanie Rauscher

Melanie Rauscher — a former contestant on the widely popular Discovery Channel show "Naked and Afraid" – has died at 35. Rauscher was a figure on the popular survivalist show in 2013, and the spinoff show, "Naked and Afraid XL," in 2015. The reality star was dog sitting at a residence in Prescott, Arizona while the homeowners were away on vacation, Corey Kasun, a spokesperson for the Prescott Police Department reportedly said, as per TMZ. The homeowners discovered Rauscher deceased in their guest room after returning to the residence on July 17.

The outlet reports that her body was found near several cans of dust cleaner that contained compressed air. It's currently unclear if Rauscher consumed the contents of the cans, or if they are in any way related to her death. Prescott Police say there were no signs of foul play, and the dog she had been looking after is unharmed.

A fellow contestant remembers his on-screen partner

Melanie Rauscher's former "Naked and Afraid" cast mate and close friend, Jeremy McCaa, posted a loving tribute to his "swamp wife" on Facebook in the wake of her death. "She came into my life in a way I can't explain. We had such a chemistry on the show and it blossomed into a friendship that goes beyond words could describe," he wrote. "She was my swamp wife, a best friend, a strong woman, an amazing person and I'll always cherish our moments together." 

Writing that Rauscher went far "too soon" and was "taken" from the world far too early, McCaa concluded in his tribute that he will one day see his on-screen partner again. "The world lost an amazing person," McCaa wrote. "Please keep her family and friends in your prayers. See you again my Queen."

According to her obituary, Rauscher served with honor in the U.S. Navy during the Iraq War and was employed at the Prescott VA Medical Center at the time of her death.