Army Sgt. Wesley Durden Jr., a former contestant on TLC's reality show Next Great Baker, was shown voted off the show on Monday night's episode. However, Durden, a Jacksonville native, completed suicide back in October after production ended, according to reports.
According to the Huffington Post, TLC didn't mention Durden's death until after his elimination from the reality show.
The network revealed Durden's death in a memorial note after the episode.
TLC extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Sgt. Wesley Durden, who died Oct. 24, a TLC press release read. He will be warmly remembered by the cast and crew of 'Next Great Baker.'
On Oct. 27, Jacksonville Daily News reported that Durden died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Fayetteville Police Department spokesman Gavin MacRoberts had confirmed the sergeant's death with the Daily News. Fort Bragg officials also said he was a cook with the 82nd Airborne and the Durden was deployed to Iraq from January 2007 to March 2008 and then once more from August 2009 to December 2009.
Durden's body was found off Reilly Road in Fayetteville. He was 28 and is survived by his wife and two children.
Viewers of the 'Next Great Baker' have offered their condolences to Durden's family, but are somewhat displeased that the network kept his death a secret while the program continued.
So sad 2 hear tht Wesley Durden from Next Great Baker committed suicide in October but I am confused why TLC is just announcing it, a Twitter user wrote.
I understand that a lot goes into putting these shows together, but there has to be a better way to deal with actual reality when it creeps into our reality programs, Tucson Weekly's Dan Gibson wrote regarding the issue.