Cheslie Kryst, Charlotte native and Miss USA 2019, dies at age 30
Kryst was also a host on EXTRA and an attorney.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV/AP) - Former Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst has died at the age of 30, her family announced in a statement Sunday.
Kryst, a Charlotte native, won the Miss USA pageant back in 2019 as Miss North Carolina. She was also an entrepreneur, an Emmy Award-nominated entertainment news correspondent with ExtraTV and a civil litigation attorney.
Police said Kryst was pronounced dead at the scene outside of an apartment building in New York City Sunday morning.
“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,” her family said. “She cared, she loved, she laughed and she shined. 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.”
Kryst grew up in Charlotte and attended Huntingtowne Farms Elementary, Quail Hollow Middle and Southwest Middle before moving to South Carolina and graduating from Fort Mill High School. She attended University of South Carolina. She also had obtained M.B.A. and J.D. degrees from Wake Forest University.
“The district was saddened to learn of the passing of Cheslie Kryst, a former Fort Mill High School graduate. While she was well known to many because of her reign as Miss USA in 2019, to our Fort Mill staff she will be remembered as a sweet, well-liked girl named CeCi. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family as they deal with this tragic loss. The district has resources available to help anyone who is feeling the impact of Cheslie’s death and we encourage them to reach out to our school counselors for any assistance needed,” a statement from the Fort Mill School District read.
Cheslie also hosted the 2021 Coveted Couture Gala at the Mint Museum. Officials at the Mint Museum also provided a statement Monday.
“We are saddened by the loss of Cheslie Kryst. She was a friend to the Mint and a host of the 2021 Coveted Couture Gala. We send deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. Please remember to check in on family, friends, and those you walk through life with each day,” the statement read.
“Our hearts are broken,” EXTRA said in a statement. “Cheslie was not just a vital part of our show, she was a beloved part of our Extra family and touched the entire staff. Our deepest condolences to all her family and friends.”
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper honored Cheslie’s life with a tweet Monday morning.
“Cheslie Kryst was a role model for so many here and around the country. Our prayers are with her family. Check in with your loved ones. If you feel overwhelmed, seek out help. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 at (1-800)-273-8255,” Gov. Cooper tweeted.
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles also shared her condolences to Cheslie’s family.
“My deepest condolences to Cheslie Kryst’s family. Before she was Miss USA, we had lunch. She was proud to be a working attorney in Charlotte. We also did a number of charity events. She did it with grace and a smile. We are so saddened to lose her,” Mayor Lyles tweeted.
Kryst had appeared on WBTV several times in the past few years, from appearances on Morning Break to On Your Side Tonight and most recently joining QC@3 in March 2021.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak with a certified listener, call 1-800-273-8255. Crisis Text Line is a texting service for emotional crisis support. To speak with a trained listener, text HELLO to 741741. It is free, available 24/7, and confidential.
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