Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst passes away, sister queens share memories and condolences

Sad news shocked the entire pageant community after the tragic passing of Cheslie Kryst, an Emmy Award-nominated "Extra" correspondent, and a former Miss USA winner.

According to reports, the 30-year-old jumped off a high-rise apartment building in Midtown Manhattan, New York, and her lifeless body was found on Sunday morning.

"In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie," her family shared 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 was crowned Miss USA 2019 while representing North Carolina and went on to compete at the Miss Universe 2019 pageant in Atlanta, Georgia where she placed in the Top 10.

Before her death, she posted a photo on social media with the caption "May this day bring you rest and peace" and a heart emoji.

The Miss Universe and Miss USA Organizations are devastated to learn about the loss and said in a statement: "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."

MUO President Paula Shugart shared a photo with Cheslie and said: "I love you Cheslie. I thank you for your spirit, your smile, your laugh, and your uncanny ability to make any stressful situation better."

After hearing the news, many of her fellow Miss Universe and Miss USA sisters shared memories and condolences on social media.

"I hope you are resting easy now love. You meant everything to so many people and you forever will. You made a mark in this World and touched so many lives. We celebrate your life. I love you so, so much my forever friend and forever Miss USA." — Zozibini Tunzi (Miss South Africa 2019 / Miss Universe 2019)

"I can't believe the news. Rest in peace angel. The world will miss your light." — Catriona Gray (Miss Universe Philippines 2018 / Miss Universe 2018)

"You leave us a huge hole that nothing will ever fill. We love you with all our souls and with all our hearts." — Sofia Aragon (Mexicana Universal 2019 / Miss Universe 2019 second runner-up)

"I met Cheslie a few times before Miss Universe and was in awe of her kindness, her grace, and of course her intelligence. When she spoke, people stopped and listened. I admired her for her tenacity and her determination to rise despite whatever odds may be stacked against you." — Cindy Marina (Miss Universe Albania 2019 / Miss Universe 2019 Top 20)

"My heart aches with the news of our Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst who I had the honor of meeting. Mental health is definitely so important and I can't imagine what she's been going through in silence. I will always remember Cheslie for her intelligence, personality, talent, and heart." — Madison Anderson (Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2019 / Miss Universe 2019 first runner-up)

"Our fierce queen forever. You have been inspirational. Your journey has been beautiful and it may have ended here but you’ll continue to shower your light from heaven." — Vartika Singh (Miss Universe India 2019 / Miss Universe 2019 Top 21)

"Woke up to the saddest news! I can’t believe I’ll never see you again. You will be missed and the light you shone so bright." — Gazini Ganados (Miss Universe Philippines 2019 / Miss Universe 2019 Top 21)

"Today we lost a beautiful soul. I still remember you were the first Miss Universe contestant I had the courage to have a conversation with. I was blown away at first sight by your intelligence and the charisma you had when you spoke. Your words had so much power to them and you used that gift to speak up for the injustices you saw in this world." — Frederika Alexis Cull (Puteri Indonesia 2019 / Miss Universe 2019 Top 10)

"I had the honor of crowning Cheslie Kryst as Miss USA 2019. Although I crowned her, I looked up to her in many ways. She was a bright light of wisdom, dedication, and strength." — Sarah Rose Summers Combs (Miss USA 2018 / Miss Universe 2018 Top 20)

"At a loss for words! Rest in peace beautiful Cheslie." — Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters Tebow (Miss South Africa 2017 / Miss Universe 2017)

"Rest in peace beautiful Cheslie." — Olivia Culpo (Miss USA 2012 / Miss Universe 2012)

"There are no words. Your light will continue to shine." — Nia Sanchez (Miss USA 2014 / Miss Universe 2014 first runner-up)

"One of the most amazing and inspiring women I have ever met. She touched the world with her light." — Siera Bearchell (Miss Universe Canada 2016 / Miss Universe 2016 Top 9)

Outside of pageantry, Cheslie was an athlete and a licensed attorney who served as a New York correspondent for "Extra" from October 2019 until her death.

For her work on television, she was twice nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards. As a lawyer, she has worked pro bono for clients serving long sentences for low-level drug offenses.

She also founded the fashion blog White Collar Glam, dedicated to helping women dress professionally in white-collar jobs.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis, please seek help by calling the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1 800-273-8255 or going to

Photos: Patrick Prather / Miss USA, Benjamin Askinas / Miss Universe Organization

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