Cheslie Kryst, the winner of the 2019 Miss USA pageant, died on Sunday in what officials have ruled a suicide.
“NYPD responded to a 911 call at 7:13 AM to Cheslie’s midtown apartment building on 42nd Street,” TMZ reported. “Officers and paramedics responded, but she was pronounced dead on the scene.”
The Associated Press later reported that police indicated that Kryst “jumped” from the apartment building.
Kryst’s family released the following statement:
In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie. Her great light was one that inspired others around the world with her beauty and strength. She cared, she loved, she laughed and she shined. Cheslie embodied love and served others, whether through her work as an attorney fighting for social justice, as Miss USA and as a host on EXTRA. But most importantly, as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor and colleague — we know her impact will live on.
Kryst was an attorney and correspondent for the entertainment news program “Extra.” The news program said that she was a “vital part” of their show and was “a beloved part of our Extra family and touched the entire staff.”
“Our deepest condolences to all her family and friends,” the statement added.
The New York Daily News reported that Kryst jumped from the 29th floor of the building and reportedly left a suicide note.
Shortly before she jumped, Kryst wrote on Instagram: “May this day bring you rest and peace.”
Born on Apr. 28, 1991 in Jackson, Mich., Kryst would go on to follow in her mother’s footsteps by competing in pageantry. Kryst attended the University of South Carolina where she graduated with a degree in marketing and human resource management. Subsequently, she enrolled at Wake Forest University School of Law, where she graduated with an MBA and Juris Doctor in 2017.
While training in and practicing law in North Carolina and South Carolina, Kryst continued to compete in pageants with three consecutive runs in Miss North Carolina USA. In 2019, Kryst emerged victorious and went on to represent the state at the year’s Miss USA competition where she won the national title. Kryst represented the U.S. at the subsequent Miss Universe competition, where she finished in the top 10.
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The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free hotline for individuals in crisis or distress or for those looking to help someone else. It is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.