“I was with him in his final moments,” said castmate Marc Johnson.
A contestant on the first season of New Zealand’s “The Bachelorette” was found dead on Thursday in the capital city of Wellington.
Tavita Karika’s death at the age of 31 was confirmed by his best friend and castmate from the reality show, Marc Johnson.
“I was with him in his final moments.” Johnson told Stuff. “There was a lot of family and friends.”
“I got there about 10 minutes into the ambulance crew being at the scene, and about 10 to 15 minutes after that they informed us that they cannot help him,” he added.
The cause of death has not been released.
Karika — who also starred on 2018’s “Heartbreak Island” — worked as a personal trainer, model and actor. According to Johnson, he had also just finished up his coursework to become a barber.
“We’ve been best friends since we met on the show,” said Johnson. “His birthday was next month. He was in a very happy point in his life. That was one of the last things that he said to me a few days ago.”
“He cut my hair on Wednesday and did such an amazing job and that was the last time I saw him. He was a good guy and he loved everyone.”
Another of Karika’s “Bachelorette” castmates, Lesina Nakhid-Schuster, took to her Instagram Story to write, “Tavita was a hilarious man with the best chuckle, and the best one liners. I loved hearing how enthusiastic he was about looking after his mum, learning about his gym and food routines, and creating funny handshakes together.”
“I also really admired him opening the doors on the topic of mental health and some of his hardest times,” she continued. “My heart goes out to Tavitas loved ones. Having the pleasure of meeting Tavita, I know what a truly devastating loss this is.”
Friends and family established a Give A Little fundraising page to help cover the funeral expenses.
“On the 29th of April 2021 Tavita took his last breath and with that our hearts,” read a statement on the website. “If you had the pleasure of knowing Tavita you will know just how difficult this is for his family, friends and all who loved him.”
“We are wanting to raise as much as we can to help Karika’s family with funeral costs and getting our boy home.”