Jeff Rice, a production facilitator for CBS reality show The Amazing Race, was found dead in his Uganda hotel room. Poisoning is suspected as the cause of death.
Rice and his production assistant were reportedly poisoned after they failed to turn over their belongings to local thugs. According to the UK Daily Mail, the production assistant was found in a coma and is currently in critical condition in the hospital.
Rice's wife, Sally Blackman told Fox News that her husband and the production assistant were not attacked, but [evidence] points towards being poisoned.
At this stage it is quite difficult to give you any form reports as the incident is currently under investigation by the Uganda police, said Blackman. Sally Blackman and Jeff Rice got married in 2001. The couple had moved out to South Africa five years ago, and have two children, ages seven and one.
Blackman told Fox News that, Jeff was a dedicated father who made the most of his time with his family when back home in South Africa.
According to E! News, Rice was not currently working for CBS or The Amazing Race, but did work on the current show which is set to air Sunday. His job required him to make arrangements with local officials before filming began. Rice had previously worked on Animal Planet's Whale Wars, as well as the South African version of The Biggest Loser. Rice also ran Maverick Entertainment and SB production.
Working in the entertainment field for many years, friends of Jeff Rice, including TV personality Josh Gates and Syfy's Rex Williams, tweeted out their sorrow over his passing. Gates wrote, Floored by the loss of my dear friend & fellow adventurer, Jeff Rice. You were, quite simply, the real deal. I'll never forget you. Rex Williams tweeted, Lost my great friend, Jeff Rice. I can't tell you how saddened we are. He was a true adventurer. Please keep his family in your prayers.
Uganda police are currently investigating the poisonings of Jeff Rice and his production assistant.