'The Bachelorette New Zealand' Alum Tavita Karika Dead at 31

Rising reality star Tavita Karika is dead at 31. Karika appeared on the first season of New Zealand's The Bachelorette and Heartbreak Island. At this moment, it's unclear what caused his death.

The reality star's family is who announced the heartbreaking news through the online fundraising site Givealittle. "With heavy hearts we announce the passing of our friend Tavita Antoni Karika," the post started. "On the 29th of April 2021 Tavita took his last breath and with that our hearts. 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." While his cause of death is unknown, one of his closest friends took to social media to share that he was right by his side during some of his final moments.

"I can confirm that Tavita did pass last night around midnight," Marc Johnson, who starred on both The Bachelorette and Heartbreak Island with him, shared with Stuff according to E!. "I can't tell you if it was before or after because it was just too emotional, and before I knew it our or five hours had passed." He then said that his friend was definitely "in a very happy point in his life" before he passed — which he would have celebrated a birthday next month. "I was with him in his final moments. There was a lot of family and friends," he said before adding, "We've been best friends since we met on the show. His birthday was next month."

"He was in a very happy point in his life [...] that was one of the last things 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." Several other reality stars took to social media to share their thoughts, including former Bachelorette lead Lesina Nakhid-Schuster and Harry Jowsey. "Tavita was a hilarious man with th best chuckle, and the best one liners," Nakhid-Schuster recalled. "I loved hearing how enthusiastic he was about looking for his mum, learning about his gym and food routines, and creating funny handshakes together." She also revealed that she "admired" him for being so open with the public about mental health issues and ended by saying, "My heart goes out to Tavitas loved ones. Having the pleasure of meeting Tavita, I know what a truly devastating loss this is."

Jowsey added that he still can't "process" the hearbreaking news and to "please check in on your friends, even if they say they are fine." He then shared a sweet memory of when he was nervous to go on stage during the final rose ceremony, how Karika was there for him and encouraged him the whole way through. He ended with, "I love you so much, thanks for everything."