Cheslie Kryst, who won the Miss USA pageant in 2019, has passed away. She was 30 years old.
The beauty queen, lawyer, fashion blogger and Extra TV correspondent fell from a "higher elevation" of a 60-story condominium in New York City just after 7 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 30, and was pronounced dead at the scene, an NYPD spokesperson told E! News. They added that the death of Kryst, who lived on the ninth floor, appears to be a suicide, adding that a medical examiner has yet to determine the official cause.
"In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie," her family said in a statement to Extra. "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."
The statement continued, "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. As we reflect on our loss, the family asks for privacy at this time."
Kryst was active on social media as recently as hours before her passing. Earlier Sunday, Kryst posted a glam photo of herself looking to the side on her Instagram page, writing, "May this day bring you rest and peace."
On Saturday, Jan. 29, Kryst, a former Miss North Carolina USA, posted on her Instagram Story a congratulatory message to Miss North Carolina USA Morgan Romano and Miss North Carolina Teen USA Gabby Ortega, telling them, "Best of luck at Miss USA and Miss Teen USA!" Also last week, Kryst shared a YouTube vlog about her haircare routine.
The Miss Universe and Miss USA Organizations also released a statement Jan. 29.
"The Miss Universe and Miss USA Organizations are devastated to learn about the loss of Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst," the statement read. "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."
Kryst was born in Jackson, Michigan in 1991 and grew up in South Carolina. Kryst attended the University of South Carolina and in 2017, she graduated Wake Forest University School of Law. She worked as a lawyer at North Carolina firm Poyner Spruill LLP as a civil litigator. She also founded the women's business apparel blog White Collar Glam.
In 2019, she won the title of Miss North Carolina USA and after being crowned Miss USA 2019, she took a sabbatical from work. In 2020, her firm appointed her its first diversity advisor.
Also in 2019, Kryst began working as a New York correspondent for Extra. "Our hearts are broken," producers for the show said in a statement posted by its website. "Cheslie was not just a vital part of our show, she was a beloved part of our Extra family and touched the entire staff. Our deepest condolences to all her family and friends."
—Reporting by Meriam Bouarrouj