Cheslie Kryst, former Miss USA pageant winner, dies at 30

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Former Miss USA pageant winner Cheslie Kryst dies at 30
WARNING: This video may contain sensitive or triggering content not suitable for all ages. Viewer discretion is advised – Jan 31, 2022

Cheslie Kryst, the 2019 winner of the Miss USA pageant, has died at age 30.

The former pageant winner died by an apparent suicide Sunday, reports ABC News.

“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,” her family shared in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter (THR).

“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.”

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Kryst captured the Miss USA title in 2019 as the representative of North Carolina.

Her win came in a special year, as 2019 marked the first time that the winners for Miss USA, Miss America and Miss Teen USA were all Black women.

Upon winning, Kryst said: “Mine is the first generation to have that forward-looking mindset that has inclusivity, diversity, strength and empowered women.”

Kryst, a former lawyer, most recently worked as a correspondent at EXTRA, and the entertainment program shared condolences on its Instagram account, with the message, “Our hearts are broken.”

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Kryst provided commentary at last month’s Miss Universe pageant. The organization called her “one of the brightest, warmest, and most kind people we have ever had the privilege of knowing. Our entire community mourns her loss.”

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The Miss America Twitter account called Kryst “an incredible example and a role model for so many.”

Kryst shared a final Instagram post on Sunday.

“May this day bring you rest and peace,” she wrote, alongside a photo of herself.

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According to THR, Kryst held a law degree and an MBA from Wake Forest University and had practised as an attorney before winning the pageant. She was a former Division 1 track and field athlete at the University of South Carolina. She also served on the National Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

For a directory of support services in your area, visit the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.

Learn more about how to help someone in crisis.

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