Cheslie Kryst, winner of the Miss USA 2019 pageant, has died of an apparent suicide in Manhattan.
The New York Police Department announced that she had jumped from the 29th floor of her Midtown apartment building early Sunday morning. Although suicide is believed to be the cause of her death, it is yet to be confirmed by a medical examiner.
Kryst was an attorney and also served as a correspondent on the entertainment television program, EXTRA.
“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,” her family said of her death.
She left behind a note in her apartment giving all belongings to her mother but did not explain the reasoning behind her departure. Like her daughter, April Simpkins, also competed in beauty competitions and was the titleholder of the Mrs. North Carolina pageant in 2002.
Kryst was the longest reigning Miss USA winner, serving for 557 days, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She placed in the top 10 at the Miss Universe 2019 pageant in Atlanta, Georgia.
Most recently, the beauty queen was a backstage co-host alongside Carson Kressley for the Miss Universe 2021 competition which took place in Eilat, Israel.
The Miss Universe and Miss USA organizations offered their condolences stating, “She was one of the brightest, warmest, and most kind people we have ever had the privilege of knowing, and she lit up every room she entered. Our entire community mourns her loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.”
The statement also included contact information for the National Suicide Prevention hotline, 1-800-273-8255 and suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
She published her last Instagram post the morning of her death with a caption stating: ‘“May this day bring you rest and peace.”