Catfish's Ashley Sawyer, who appeared with the late Michael Fortunato on Season 2 of the MTV program, died this past weekend in Alabama, MTV News has confirmed. The Georgia native was 23 years old; her cause of death is unknown.
"We had a great relationship," Ashley's sister Jessica Ross told MTV News. "I know she knows how much I loved her and she loved me, and I am so sad that she’s gone. She was so funny, she could make me laugh on my absolute worst day. She was just a really fun person to be around."
Catfish hosts Nev Schulman and Max Joseph tweeted heartfelt messages shortly after the news of Ashley's passing broke.
"MTV is deeply saddened to learn that Ashley Sawyer has passed away," the network said in a statement. "Our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends."
Ashley appeared on a 2013 installment of the docu-series after she contacted Nev and Max about finally meeting her longtime digital companion. When the two -- who both used altered images of themselves after striking up a conversation in a chat room -- interacted in the flesh, they were unsure of how to proceed with their relationship (you can relive their goodbye in the clip below).
One month after their episode aired, Michael passed away from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 26.
"The last thing we said to each other was that we loved each other," Ashley tearfully recounted to Max during a recent Catfish catch-up special, where she revealed that she was staying in a sober-living facility after struggling with addiction.
At the time of her death, Jessica stated that Ashley had completed a program at the aforementioned facility and was residing in her own apartment in Alabama and working at Panera.
Please offer your condolences to Ashley’s family and friends in the comments.