Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst died Sunday, her family confirmed. She was 30 years old.
In a statement, Kryst’s family wrote, “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,” Kryst’s family added. “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 died after falling from a New York City high-rise, according to the New York Police Department. The New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled her death a suicide.
Just hours before the incident, Kryst shared a photo of herself on Instagram and wrote in the caption, “May this day bring you rest and peace.”
Kryst was crowned Miss USA as Miss North Carolina in May 2019. She earned her law degree and an MBA at Wake Forest University. Following her graduation, Kryst became licensed to practice law in both North Carolina and South Carolina and worked as a civil litigation attorney. She also worked pro bono for clients who were low-level drug offenders.
In response to the news of her death, Extra paid tribute to the former Miss USA winner and said, “our hearts are broken.”
“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.”
Kryst spoke out about mental health during her reign as Miss USA, saying she spoke with a counselor and took steps to protect her mental health.
“I do a lot to maintain my mental health, and the most important thing that I did is talk to a counselor,” she wrote in a post on the Miss USA Facebook page in 2019.
“When I’m not talking to a counselor, I take time at the end of every single day to just decompress. I unplug. I shut my phone off. I don’t answer messages. I just sit and watch my favorite movies.”
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.
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