An in memoriam notice at the end of TLC’s most recent episode of Next Great Baker alerted fans of the baking competition that Iraq war veteran Sgt. Wesley Durden, who had been eliminated on Monday night’s episode, had died. He was 28.
The statement read: “In Memoriam, Wesley Durden, 1982-2011, TLC extends its deepest condolences to Wesley’s family and friends.”
The cause of death is a gunshot wound to the head, allegedly self-inflicted.
TLC later released the following statement: “TLC extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Sgt. Wesley Durden, who died October 24. He will be warmly remembered by the cast and crew of Next Great Baker.”
Durden who was serving as a paratrooper with the Army 82nd Airborne Division in Fayetteville, N.C. who was twice deployed in Iraq.
He is survived by wife Maria, 7-year-old son Wesley III and 2-year-old daughter Giannia, as well as his parents, sister and grandparents.