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Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst Dead At 30 After Jumping From NYC Apartment Building -- The Pageant Community & More Pay Tribute

Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst Dead At 30

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019, has tragically passed away at 30 years old.

Via The New York Post, authorities have reported that the beauty pageant titleholder died on Sunday after jumping from a 60-story building on 350 W. 42nd Street in New York City at around 7:15 a.m. She lived on the ninth floor of The Orion Condominium building and was last seen on the 29th-floor terrace, shortly before she jumped. According to sources, Cheslie was found dead on the street below.

The outlet’s insiders also claimed that Kyrst left a note behind, explaining that all of her stuff should go to her mother, April Simpkins, a former beauty pageant competitor who was crowned Miss North Carolina in 2002. No motive was shared in the note. Detective Martin Brown of the NYPD confirmed on Monday that an investigation is ongoing, as is standard for deaths by suicide, according to CNN.

Related: Pregnant Former Miss America Hopeful’s Husband Shot Dead In Front Of Their Child

Confirming the heartbreaking news, Cheslie’s family released a statement, saying:

“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.”

They continued:

“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.”

They have asked for privacy as they mourn their loved one’s sudden loss. Meanwhile, Extra also addressed the tragedy, sharing their “deepest condolences to all her family and friends,” adding in a statement uploaded to social media:

“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.”

Extra host Billy Bush added his own tribute on Instagram, reflecting:

“She was positive, hardworking, fun and of course beautiful. Always dancing in between takes. This is a complete shock to all. We are left with great sadness because the best was definitely yet to come for this special person.”

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Similarly, Renee Bargh added of her colleague:

“The sweetest, kindest, smartest woman I’ve ever met. Devastated & shocked. We lost a beautiful bright light.”

Former Miss South Carolina winner MaKenzie Divina, who competed against the 30-year-old for Miss USA in 2019, shared a photo of the duo to IG, emotionally remarking:

“Cheslie I hope you knew how loved you were. I can never begin to understand how you were feeling but what I can rest with is knowing the amazing person you were and how your legacy will continue on forever. The impact you had on so many people including myself was incredible. You left people better than you found them. The world will never be the same without you. I’ll love you forever…. Until we meet again Cheslie”

Kryst was crowned Miss USA as Miss North Carolina in May 2019. She, Nia Imani Franklin (Miss America), Kaliegh Garris (Miss Teen USA), and Zozibini Tunzi (Miss Universe) made history as the first group of all Black women to hold the titles in the same year. While making an appearance on Good Morning America, the attorney opened up about “breaking barriers,” sharing:

“People will comment on our social media and be like, ‘Why are we talking about your race? You guys are just four, amazing women.’ And I’m like, ‘Yes, we are four amazing women, but there was a time when we literally could not win!’”

So sad that someone so young and accomplished has been taken too soon. According to neighbors in the Hell’s Kitchen area, there has been an increase in deaths by suicide in the last few years. We’ll be thinking of all Cheslie’s family and friends in this devastating time. R.I.P.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to

[Image via BUILD Series/YouTube & Cheslie Kryst/Instagram]

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Jan 31, 2022 07:30am PDT