Former Miss USA, attorney and Extra correspondent, Cheslie Kryst, has passed away, confirmed by both her family and authorities on Jan. 30.
Kryst’s body appeared to have fallen from an elevated position. It was found outside the Orion building around 7:15 AM at 350 West 42nd Street in New York City, according to the authorities who identified it on the street below. It’s been reported that her death was most likely a suicide.
Kryst is said to have been last seen on the 29th-floor terrace of the 60-story building, where she lived on the ninth floor, detailed by The New York Post.
Additionally, sources who spoke with the outlet claim Kryst, Miss USA 2019, left a note behind saying she wanted to leave everything to her mother, also a former pageant winner.
“In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie,” Kryst’s family told PEOPLE 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,” they added. “But most importantly, as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor and colleague – we know her impact will live on.”
Extra also offered its “deepest condolences” to Kryst’s loved ones. The TV program’s statement read: “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.”
Kryst posted a photo of herself with the caption, “May this day bring you rest and peace ❤️ ,” in her last Instagram post. It was shared over the weekend, allegedly shortly before her death.
Her win as Miss USA 2019 contributed to the history-making feats of Nia Imani Franklin (Miss America), Kaliegh Garris (Miss Teen USA) and Zozibini Tunzi (Miss Universe) being the first group of Black women to hold those titles in a single year, according to PEOPLE.
Kryst’s shine and influence will be missed by many. As a known and vocal mental health advocate, her passing is that much more heartbreaking.