Ashley Tropez, who appeared in Beyond Scared Straight, was sadly found dead by police on August 26th. According to the San Bernardino Police Department report, the former reality star was discovered with “traumatic injuries” at a vacant residence in Victorville, California. Police suspect Tropez and a person named Alexis Call “squatted” in the abandoned building for some time. Unfortunately, authorities believe Call killed Tropez for unknown reasons, and Call has since been taken into custody and charged with murder.
Tropez was just 17 when she was sent to the San Bernardino prison system by reality TV show Beyond Scared Straight. At the time, Tropez was a self-confessed juvenile delinquent who often got into trouble at school for selling marijuana, fighting, and stealing. She was treated cruelly by the wardens and other inmates, but the aim of the prison stay was to make Tropez realize her mistake and hopefully set her on a better path.
But it seems that Tropez’s post-Beyond Scared Straight life may have led to her untimely and tragic death.
Unfortunately, Ashley Tropez continued her criminal lifestyle
A year after Ashley Tropez was reportedly “directly scared,” the reality show caught up with Tropez to see where her life was after seeing what prison was like as a teenager. Sadly, the then 18-year-old admitted she never intended to stop her criminal activities. “After the prison visit, I can honestly say that Ashley is actually getting worse,” Tropez’ aunt Jennifer told the camera crew.
In the “Beyond Scared Straight” rerun, Jennifer revealed that Tropez’s uncle Thomas basically raised Tropez and exposed her to gang activity. “Before she even went to jail, I knew it wouldn’t scare her,” Thomas explained in the episode. “How do you scare someone who has been involved with the police their whole life?” At the end of the follow-up, it was revealed that Tropez was actually jailed for 40 days for gun possession and robbery with three years probation.
While there was hope for “rehab” given the show’s claims that Tropez was enrolled in online classes, she continued her involvement in gang activity since her family life was so intertwined with it. The emotional complexities behind joining a gang were seemingly ignored by “Beyond Scared Straight,” which is a source of criticism of the show. According to the Daily Beast, studies have indicated that participation in “Beyond Scared Straight” has often led to an increase in criminal cases.