‘Naked And Afraid’ Contestant Melanie Rauscher Dies at 35

Melanie Rauscher Naked and Afraid
Discovery/YouTube

Melanie Rauscher, who appeared on two seasons of the hit Discovery Channel reality show Naked and Afraid, has died. She was 35.

As reported by TMZ, Rauscher was found dead on Sunday, July 17, in Prescott, Arizona, while she was dog-sitting at a residence while the homeowners were on vacation. The homeowners returned in the afternoon and found Rauscher deceased in the guest room bed, according to Corey Kasun, a rep for the Prescott Police Department.

Police say there were no apparent signs of foul play or drug use, and Rauscher did not leave a suicide note. The dog she was looking after was fine. The Yavapai County Medical Examiner will determine Rauscher’s cause of death.

Rauscher was a familiar face to the Naked and Afraid franchise, having first appeared on the show in 2013 and then again in 2015 in the spinoff series Naked and Afraid XL.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rauscher graduated from Kennedy-Kenrick High School and attended Old Dominion University in Virginia. She went on to serve in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt CVN-17 during the Iraq War and was employed at the Prescott VA Medical Center at the time of her passing.

According to her obituary, “She was an avid outdoor enthusiast who loved nature and all creatures big and small” who “loved camping & hiking and finding adventure wherever she could.”

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Jeremy McCaa, who appeared alongside Rauscher on both the parent series and XL, shared a tribute to his friend on his Facebook page.

“Even tho [sic] we wasn’t blood, we was family,” he wrote. “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.”