Drugs possibly linked to death of reality show participant

2016-05-04 13:55

Alabama — Police in Alabama say drug use may have factored into the death of a woman who appeared on MTV's reality show Catfish.

Hoover Police Lt. Charles McDonald says authorities were called to an apartment early Saturday morning about a woman in medical distress who later died.

The woman was identified as 23-year-old Ashley Sawyer. She was featured on the MTV show about online scams in 2013 and was shown meeting a longtime digital companion, Michael Fortunato, in person. The pair used altered images of themselves after communicating in an online chatroom. Fortunato died of a pulmonary embolism a month after the episode aired.

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In a recent follow-up episode, MTV says Sawyer revealed that she had struggled with addiction. McDonald says early indications show Sawyer's death may have been heroin-related.

Catfish hosts Nev Schulman and Max Joseph posted heartfelt messages on social media in tribute to Ashley. 

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