Melanie Rauscher, a survival enthusiast and recreation specialist who competed in two seasons of Naked and Afraid, was found dead last month at a house where she was dog-sitting in Arizona. Her mother later confirmed that Rauscher likely committed suicide due to the effects of PTSD from her service in the U.S. Navy.

Melanie Rauscher Cause Of Death

She was found dead in the guest room of the house after its owners returned from their trip, and the police noted that several canisters of compressed air were found near her body. Evidence of foul play and drug use was not initially detected.

Rauscher’s castmate on Naked and Afraid, Jeremy McCaa, has been sharing heartfelt tributes to Rauscher on his Facebook. “She was my swamp wife, a best friend, a strong woman, an amazing person and I’ll always cherish our moments together,” McCaa wrote in one post. “You’re gone too soon and taken from us too early.”



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McCaa also shared a message from Rauscher’s mother, which said that her daughter, who served in the Navy during the Iraq War had recently been experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories from her service. This was because was participating in a research study to help other veterans suffering from PTSD. “Sadly, I believe her sensitivity and empathy may have played a part in the circumstances surrounding her passing,” she wrote.

“We ask that when you think of Mel and share memories of her, please remember her humor, her compassion, her empathy, and her very loud belly laughs, even at the most inopportune time,” her mother added.

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