NEW YORK (AP) — Cheslie Kryst, 2019 Miss USA pageant winner and correspondent for entertainment news program “Extra,” has died at age 30.
Police say Kryst jumped from an apartment building in Manhattan and was pronounced dead at the scene on Sunday morning. His family confirmed his death in a statement.
“In devastation and great sadness, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie,” the statement read.
“Her great light inspired others around the world with her beauty and strength. She cared, she loved, she laughed and she shone. Cheslie embodied love and served others , whether through her work as a lawyer fighting for social justice, as Miss USA and as a host on EXTRA. But more importantly, as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor and colleague, we know that his impact will last,” his family said.
Kryst, a former Division I athlete and lawyer from North Carolina, won the Miss USA pageant in May 2019 and competed in the Miss Universe pageant that year. When Kryst was crowned, it marked more than a personal triumph: it meant that for the first timethree black women were the reigning Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America.
In a statement on Sunday, the nationally broadcast program “Extra” called Kryst “not just a vital part of our show, she was a beloved part of our Extra family and touched all staff. Our most sincere condolences to all his family and friends.”
The University of South Carolina mourned the former student-athlete, calling her “a woman of many talents”. Kryst also had an MBA from Wake Forest University.
Republican U.S. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina recalled meeting with Kryst in 2019 to discuss issues affecting their home state.
Police say Kryst’s body was found around 7 a.m. Sunday in front of the Orion Building, a skyscraper on West 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available for those in distress: 1-800-273-8255.
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