Michael Fortunato, the subject of an episode of MTV’s “Catfish.” has died in Hartford, Connecticut, according to an Oct. 16, 2013 MTV News report. He was 26.
His autopsy has not yet been released, however, a spokesperson for the Farmington Chief Medical Examiner’s Office told MTV Michael's death Saturday was due to a pulmonary embolism from deep vein thrombosis.
Michael was featured on the season two “Catfish” episode entitled “Ashley and Mike,” after Ashley Sawyer had enlisted the show’s help to assist her in finally meeting the man she had been having an online relationship with for seven years.
MTV released a statement, saying, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Michael Fortunato. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”
Ashley, 20, told MTV that Michael had texted her the day he died, saying he was thinking about heading to the hospital, but later changed his mind.
His sister, Gena, 21, told the media outlet that subsequent to that, he left work early to drive to the hospital, but on the way he swerved and crashed into a fence. Authorities arrived on scene and took him to the hospital, but he died about two hours later.
Since their face-to-face meeting on “Catfish” Michael and Ashley kept in close contact and fell “very much in love,” Ashley said.
She told MTV they planned to spend New Year’s together in Atlanta where she was going to meet his sister Gena.
Ashley stated that she and Michael were “moving forward” with their relationship at the time of his death and noted the world “would be a little happier” if there were more people like him around.
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