Cheslie Kryst, who was named Miss USA in 2019, was found dead Sunday morning in New York City, the New York Postreports.
Authorities suspect Kryst jumped from the 60-story Orion building around 7:15 a.m. She reportedly lived on the ninth floor, but was last seen on a 29th-floor terrace.
“In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie,” her family said in a statement. “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,” the statement continued. “But most importantly, as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor and colleague – we know her impact will live on.”
After graduating from South Carolina University with a degree in marketing and human resource management, Kryst went to Wake Forest University School of Law where she received an MBA and Juris Doctor, perVariety. Kryst practiced law while competing in pageants, a path that culminated in her representing North Carolina when she ultimately won the Miss USA pageant 2019.
Kryst also served as a correspondent for Extra out of New York that same year. “Our hearts are broken,” Extra said in a statement, perPeople. “Cheslie was not just a vital part of our show, she was a beloved part of our Extra family and touched the entire staff.”
Kryst recently delivered a message in what would become her last post on Instagram. “May this day bring you rest and peace,” she wrote.