Two freelance facilitators for the CBS show "The Amazing Race" were poisoned in Uganda, Fox News reports. Jeff Rice, one of those attacked, died as a result of the attack, which appears to have been a shakedown attempt.
UPDATE: Sources close to the show have provided The Huffington Post with a few more details about Jeff Rice's role on the show. Jeff Rice was a "local freelance facilitator" on the show that they had worked with in the past, most recently on Season 20, which was shot several months ago. Show sources reiterated that Rice was not working for "The Amazing Race" at the time of his death, and while he does have producer credits on the show according to IMDb, they state that he was not an employee of the show or a full-time producer on it.
According to new information reported in The Daily Monitor, police have said Rice died of a cocaine overdose. This news contradicts previous reports which indicated he was poisoned. The Daily Monitor also identifies Rice's companion at the time as Catherine Fuller, who is said to have also been found unconscious and is currently in a coma.
The Daily Mail quotes Rice's widow, Sally Blackman, who said "[evidence points towards [Rice and Fuller] being poisoned."
MSNBC interviewed Blackman's brother, who said he believes the cause of death is completely unknown at this time: "There's so much stuff in the air about possible poisoning, all that kind of stuff. At the moment, we're trying to get Jeff's body out of there to get some answers."
Rice and Blackman were married in 2001 and had two children. The Mail says Ugandan police are investigating the incident further and describes Rice's role as a facilitator as someone who "would have been hired by the production company to make arrangements with local officials before teams arrived for filming."
We'll continue to update the story as more information is available.
The original version of this article appears below.
Rice and another facilitator were reportedly poisoned after refusing to give up their belongings to what Fox News described as "local thugs."
The producers were not working on the show at the time of the event, but Fox News reports that he had worked on the current season, which premiered this past Sunday. Rice's other credits include Animal Planet's "Whale Wars" and "The Biggest Loser South Africa."
According to the Daily Mail, Rice co-founded SB Productions in Durban, South Africa, where he lived with his wife and family. The company produces and facilitates movies, documentaries and television shows.
This is a developing story, stay tuned for more updates.
According to the original Fox News report, Jerry Bruckheimer Films (which produces the show) was unaware of the occurrence, and CBS had no comment.
This season on the show features teams traveling across five continents, 22 cities and close to 40,000 miles, visiting Paraguay and Azerbaijan for the first time in the series' history. "The Amazing Race" is one of the network's biggest rating winners.