TV personality, attorney and former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst has died at the age of 30, her family has confirmed.
According to police, Kryst was found dead in New York City early on Sunday morning.
Kryst, the winner of 2019’s Miss USA pageant, was also an attorney who worked for unjustly jailed inmates.
“In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie,” her family said in a statement.
“Her great light was one that inspired others around the world with her beauty and strength.”
The family’s statement added that “Cheslie embodied love and served others” through her work as an attorney, as Miss USA or as a TV host for Extra, a celebrity and entertainment show.
New York City police confirmed that Kryst’s body was discovered on Sunday morning, Her death was an apparent suicide.
Shortly before her death, Kryst posted a picture on Instagram in which she wrote: “may this day bring you rest and peace”.
Kryst, a former university athlete, became a correspondent for Extra in September 2019.
In a statement, the nationally syndicated show describes her as “not just a vital part of our show, she was a beloved part of our Extra family and touched the entire staff.”
Her Miss USA pageant victory in 2019 marked a historic first when winners of America’s three biggest beauty pageants were all black women.
In the past, Kryst had repeatedly spoken out about mental health and said she had benefited from counselling services.
Kryst is survived by her parents and five brothers and sisters.
Where to get help
From Canada or US: If you’re in an emergency, please call 911
You can contact the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Test Line by texting HOME to 741741
Young people in need of help can call Kids Help Phone on 1-800-668-6868
If you are in the UK, you can call the Samaritans on 116123
For support and more information on emotional distress, click here.