By Kylie Stevens for Daily Mail Australia
06:51 20 October 2023, updated 09:58 20 October 2023
A New Zealand influencer and mother of five known for her inspirational fitness posts has died.
Bodybuilder and fitness writer Raechelle Chase – who at one point had more than 1.4 million Facebook followers and was described as an “internet sensation” – died earlier this month.
The cause of her death is unknown at this stage.
The Auckland mother has five children, including seven-year-old twins.
In 2011 Ms Chase became the first Kiwi to qualify for the Figure Olympia bodybuilding event and competed in a series of international meets.
More recently, she has worked as a fitness model who has graced the covers of magazines at least 14 times.
She has also worked as an influencer offering online fitness coaching.
News of her death sparked an outpouring of tributes, led by her eldest daughter, Anna Chase.
“She was supportive, kind and always had the best advice. She was a wild woman with ambition and has inspired millions around the world,” she wrote, according to Stuff.
“I miss her immensely and that love will never fade.”
Friend Keith O’Connell described her death as “so sudden, so unexpected”.
“I’m not going to lie, very few things in my life have affected me as much as your passing… You had so much to live for. So much love to give,” he wrote earlier this month.
“You were, still are and always will be one of the kindest beautiful souls I have ever met.”
She was last on social media on September 30.
“Growing can be painful, change can be painful, but nothing hurts like being stuck somewhere you don’t belong,” she posted on Instagram.
She also shared photos from a magazine photo shoot on Facebook late last month.
Ms Chase had five children and was married to her husband Chris Chase for 14 years, until their separation in February 2015.
Chris Chase was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being arrested in 2012 for his role in the distribution of a drug similar to MDMA.
In 2016, Ms Chase wrote an article for Stuff describing her “toxic” relationship she fell into after leaving her husband.
“The relationship I was in taught me a lot about what I don’t want and what I should avoid. It was not just me who suffered, but my whole family,” Ms Chase wrote.
So if you know you are in an abusive relationship and you don’t have the courage to leave, do it for the sake of your children. Grab whatever you need long enough to survive crawling out of this hole, because I promise you it will be worth it.
She also described how raising her children alone has made her feel “the most confident and empowered” she has felt in a long time.
At the time, she was nine months pregnant with her two youngest children.
Ms Chase’s death is being investigated by the New Zealand Coroner.
“Given the recent nature of the death, there is no further information available at this stage,” a spokesman for New Zealand’s Department of Justice said.