Alabama pageant queen's cause of death determined

An Alabama pageant queen died as a result of "blunt force trauma," officials said Wednesday as new details emerged about the accident that led to her death.

Zoe Sozo Bethel, 27, a conservative media figure who was crowned Miss Alabama for America Strong 2021, died Friday in Miami.

Relatives previously said she had “an accident” on Feb. 10 in which she sustained severe brain damage that left her in a coma. Details were not disclosed in a post from the family on Bethel’s Instagram page.

In a statement to NBC News, Miami police said officers responded to a call of a possible suicide attempt on East 24th Street at 12:05 a.m. Feb. 11. Bethel was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition after falling from a third-floor window, the department said in the statement.

“This was a tragic accident, and no foul play is suspected,” police added.

The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner ruled the cause of death as “blunt force trauma” and the manner of death as “accidental,” according to police.

The medical examiner did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.

“The initial police report is simply preliminary and is not conclusive,” Bethel's family said in a statement.

Relatives said she "was growing and becoming more successful each year of her life, and she was only just beginning. And if she had a choice, she would still be here with us today.”

They added Bethel was “a loving mother, devoting her all to caring for her 5-year-old daughter.”

In addition to serving as Miss Alabama for America Strong, she was a political commentator for conservative media company Right Side Broadcasting Network, a brand ambassador for Turning Point USA and involved at Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, her family said.

The Mrs. Alabama America and Miss Alabama for America Pageants organization said in a statement, “On February 18th, 2022, the world lost a queen.”

“She was a light in this world and we are heartbroken over the loss of such a bright and beautiful woman,” the statement added. “Rest in grace and love, sweet one.”

Bethel's death comes nearly one month after another in the beauty pageant world. Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst died by suicide at the age of 30.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.

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