Cheslie Kryst cause of death news – Miss USA 2019's final Instagram post before 'suicide' revealed as parents speak out

THE death of former Miss USA, Cheslie Kryst was announced on January 30, 2022, and her final Instagram post before her death has been revealed.

Kryst was pronounced dead after falling from her high-rise apartment in New York City in what police believe to be a suicide.

Kryst shared a photo of herself on Instagram just hours before her death with the caption, “May this day bring you rest and peace.”

Kryst, 30, took home the crown in the Miss USA pageant as Miss North Carolina in 2019.

She used her platform as Miss USA to speak about criminal justice reform.

You’re not alone

SUICIDE is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Leading Causes of Death Report from 2018.

There were "more than two and half times as many suicides" in the US than there were homicides, according to the report.

For people ages 10 and 34, suicide was the "second leading cause of death" and the fourth for individuals ages 35 to 54.

Suicide is a vital health concern in the U.S. It affects all genders, races and ages.

This is why The-Sun.com launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The campaign calls on readers to discuss their mental health issues with their family, friends and health professionals. We can all pitch in to help out others who may be suffering and help save lives.

If you are struggling to cope, you are not alone. There are many free and confidential programs in the US aimed to help those who are struggling with their mental health.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health problems, these organizations are here to provide support:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org, 1-800-273-TALK
  • Crisis Text Line, www.crisistextline.org, Text HOME to 741741
  • Veterans Crisis Hotline, www.veteranscrisisline.net, 1-800-273-8255
  • Trevor Project, www.thetrevorproject.org, 1-866-488-7386

Read our Cheslie Kryst live blog for the latest news and updates...

  • Jocelyn Cook

    Who is Cheslie Kryst's dad?

    Rodney Kryst was a Polish American bodybuilder, according to Vim Buzz.

    Not much else is known about Rodney but Cheslie did once report also being inspired by her dad.

    She said: "Today is a special day to show appreciation to all the fathers and father figures who have made our lives special.

    "My dad introduced me to athletics. He took my siblings and me to the track every weekend when we were young when we didn’t want to.

    "And he told us endless stories of his body-building days."

  • Jocelyn Cook

    Witnesses left shaken

    One witness to Kryst's death told The Sun that it is a reminder that you "never know what's happening behind closed doors."

    "Even if people seem strong or fine they might not be … it might be a front," he said.

    "This is a really easy city to get lost in … Check in with your people."

    A local store owner said he was working behind the shop counter when a customer ran inside to tell him that someone had fallen from a nearby building.

    "It was crazy and very sad," he said. "I have never seen anything like that … I couldn't believe it."

  • Jocelyn Cook

    Cheslie's work as influencer and correspondent

    Using her closet room as a setting, Cheslie filmed videos for her followers, giving them a glimpse into her life.

    She answered questions from her followers about her background in law and competing in beauty pageants.

    She also interviewed stars such as actor and director Denzel Washington as part of her work as a correspondent for Extra.

    In one of her last clips, she talked happily about being sent personalized M&Ms.

  • H. J. Hayes

    Cheslie’s pageant history

    As a teenager, Cheslie was crowned Miss Freshman at her first high school, Northwestern. She also earned the honor of Miss Fort Mill High School after she transferred.

    In 2019, she was crowned Miss North Carolina.

    After taking home the crown at 2019 Miss USA competition in Reno, Nevada Cheslie took a one-year leave from her job as a lawyer and represented the United States at the Miss Universe pageant in December of 2019.

  • H. J. Hayes

    Cheslie’s pageant history

    As a teenager, Cheslie was crowned Miss Freshman at her first high school, Northwestern. She also earned the honor of Miss Fort Mill High School after she transferred.

    In 2019, she was crowned Miss North Carolina.

    After taking home the crown at 2019 Miss USA competition in Reno, Nevada Cheslie took a one-year leave from her job as a lawyer and represented the United States at the Miss Universe pageant in December of 2019.

  • H. J. Hayes

    Tragic final Instagram post

    Just a few hours before her fatal fall from her high-rise apartment in New York City, Cheslie uploaded a chilling post of a photo of herself captioned, “May this day bring you rest and peace.”

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Cheslie Kryst, JD, MBA (@chesliekryst)

  • H. J. Hayes

    Colleagues shocked by death, continued

    Diaz said he woke up Sunday and saw an alert on his phone that a former Miss USA winner died in New York City.

    “I was like this can’t be Cheslie. No, no, no, no way. Sure as hell, I saw her name and her picture in the story. I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

    Kryst’s family has asked for privacy while they grieve, but Diaz said he’s in the planning stages of creating memorial art for her.

    He has behind-the-scenes photos and videos from when they worked together.

    “I want to make sure it’s perfect for her,” he said.

  • H. J. Hayes

    Colleagues shocked by death

    The death of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst was “shocking” to friends and colleagues.

    “She set the standard for all women in America,” Erwyn Diaz, a celebrity Red Carpet freelance videographer who worked with Kryst for about four years, said.

    “She was an overall reflection of a progressive, amazing, young black woman,” Diaz told The Sun in an exclusive interview Monday.

    “When I saw her in the field, she was always laughing and smiling and chatting. She had such a sheer presence about her. That’s what’s surprising about this.”

    “She never gave off a sense of despair or anything like that. She was always on point and focused. But we never really know what’s going on behind the smile.”

  • H. J. Hayes

    Miss USA Organization’s statement

    The Miss USA Organization released a statement to Instagram after Cheslie’s death.

    “The Miss Universe and Miss USA Organizations are devastated to learn about the loss of Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst. She was one of the brightest, warmest, and most kind people we have ever had the privilege of knowing, and she lit up every room she entered,” the post reads.

    “Our entire community mourns her loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.

    “If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis, please seek help by calling the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1 800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.”

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Miss USA (@missusa)

  • H. J. Hayes

    Kryst went to law school

    Cheslie Kryst was an attorney who was committed to trying to reform America’s justice system.

    She first attended the Honors College at the University of South Carolina, where she went to the Darla Moore School of Business and earned a degree in marketing and human resource management in 2013.

    Kryst then enrolled in Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and graduated with a Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration in 2017.

  • H. J. Hayes

    Was Cheslie Kryst married?

    Cheslie Kryst was not married.

    She never publicly dated anyone, and was not known to share her relationship status with fans or the media.

    Prior to her death, Cheslie seemed to be focused on expanding her career.

  • H. J. Hayes

    Comments on Kryst’s final post

    A heartbreaking final social media post garnered emotional comments from friends and fans of the pageant queen, who worked as a lawyer.

    American actress and 2015’s Miss USA Olivia Jordan commented on Kryst’s last Instagram post, “Rest peacefully sister. The world will miss you and the light you shone so bright.”

    “My sweet angel. My heart hurts,” said Ali Stagnitta, the HollywoodLife on-air reporter.

  • H. J. Hayes

    ‘With grace and a smile’

    Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles shared her condolences to Cheslie Kryst‘s family on Twitter, describing some time the two spent together.

    “Before she was Miss USA, we had lunch. She was proud to be a working attorney in Charlotte,” the mayor wrote.

    “We also did a number of charity events. She did it with grace and a smile. We are so saddened to lose her.”

  • H. J. Hayes

    Kryst’s historic 2019 win

    Kryst made history as one of three black women crowned as Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss America in 2019.

    Kryst told The Grio that wearing her natural curls during the pageant was intentional.

    “Winning with my natural hair was really important to me because I thought, this is the way that my hair grows out of my head,” she told the news site in 2019.

    “I should be OK to wear my hair like this.”

    One Twitter user said of the historic year: “It was such a beautiful year when Cheslie Kryst was Miss USA.”

    “We had 3 black queens. May she rest in peace.”

  • H. J. Hayes

    What was Cheslie Kryst known for? part two

    Cheslie was crowned Miss USA in 2019 and went on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

    The civil litigation attorney took time off from her law career to fulfill her duties as Miss USA.

    Also in 2019, Cheslie began her career as a New York-based correspondent for ExtraTV, a position that brought the star two Emmy Award nominations.

  • H. J. Hayes

    What was Cheslie Kryst known for?

    The daughter of former Mrs North Carolina April Simpkins, Cheslie began her pageantry career as a teenager following in her mother’s footsteps.

    In 2013, Cheslie earned her Bachelor’s degree for Marketing and Human Resource Management, followed by a Juris Doctor and Master’s of Business Administration four years later.

    She won the title of Miss North Carolina in 2019, after several attempts of landing in the top ten at the competition.

  • H. J. Hayes

    Where did Cheslie Kryst attend school?

    Kryst attended the University of South Carolina, where she set records as a student-athlete in the triple jump.

    She graduated with honors after double majoring in human resource management and marketing.

    Kryst went on to earn a combined JD and MBA from Wake Forest University.

  • H. J. Hayes

    What’s been said about Cheslie Kryst? continued

    ExtraTV host Billy Bush also took to Instagram to pay tribute to Cheslie, writing: “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.”

    Renee Bargh, also of ExtraTV, referred to Cheslie as “The sweetest, kindest, smartest woman I’ve ever met,” via Instagram Story.

    “Devastated & shocked,” she continued.

    “We lost a beautiful bright light.”

  • H. J. Hayes

    What has been said about Cheslie Kryst?

    Former Miss South Carolina, MaKenzie Divina, wrote on Instagram: “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 post continued.

    “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.”

  • H. J. Hayes

    Pageant peer remembers Cheslie

    Gabriela Tafur was Miss Colombia 2018, represented Colombia at Miss Universe 2019, and now works as an attorney.

    On her Instagram story, Gabriela posted, “RIP, my friend.”

    “Cheslie was kind, sweet, intelligent, strong and beautiful.

    “She left a mark on the life of the people she met. Mine wasn’t the exception.”

    Gabriela went on to say Cheslie embodied women’s empowerment “through example.

  • H. J. Hayes

    Early-morning 911 call from NYC apartment

    On Sunday morning around 7.13am ET, the New York Police Department responded to a 911 call at Cheslie’s Manhattan apartment.

    The 2019 Miss USA star was found dead from an apparent suicide.

  • H. J. Hayes

    Fellow pageant queen posts tribute

    Savannah Wix, Miss Arizona 2019, posted a tribute photo showing herself, Cheslie and other Miss USA contestants at the competition.

    In the photo, Cheslie has been crowned, and is holding a bouquet of flowers while her fellow contestants embrace her.

    “We love you forever, Ches,” Savannah captioned the picture.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Savannah Wix (@savannahwix)

  • H. J. Hayes

    You're Not Alone: suicide prevention resources

    You’re not alone

    SUICIDE is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Leading Causes of Death Report from 2018.

    There were "more than two and half times as many suicides" in the US than there were homicides, according to the report.

    For people ages 10 and 34, suicide was the "second leading cause of death" and the fourth for individuals ages 35 to 54.

    Suicide is a vital health concern in the U.S. It affects all genders, races and ages.

    This is why The-Sun.com launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

    The campaign calls on readers to discuss their mental health issues with their family, friends and health professionals. We can all pitch in to help out others who may be suffering and help save lives.

    If you are struggling to cope, you are not alone. There are many free and confidential programs in the US aimed to help those who are struggling with their mental health.

    If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health problems, these organizations are here to provide support:

    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org, 1-800-273-TALK
    • Crisis Text Line, www.crisistextline.org, Text HOME to 741741
    • Veterans Crisis Hotline, www.veteranscrisisline.net, 1-800-273-8255
    • Trevor Project, www.thetrevorproject.org, 1-866-488-7386

    Cheslie won Miss North Carolina, Miss USA

    As a teenager, Cheslie was crowned Miss Freshman at her first high school, Northwestern.

    She also earned the honor of Miss Fort Mill High School after she transferred.

    In 2019, she was crowned Miss North Carolina and Miss USA.

    After taking home the crown in Reno, Nevada, Cheslie took a one-year leave from her job as a lawyer.

    She represented the United States at the Miss Universe pageant in December of 2019.

    Cheslie Kryst’s childhood

    Cheslie Kryst was born on April 28, 1991 to former Mrs. North Carolina, April Simpkins.

    After graduating from Fort Mill High School in 2009, Cheslie went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in marketing and human resource management from the University of South Carolina.

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