Miss USA 2019 And Attorney Cheslie Kryst Dies At 30 After Jumping From A 60-Story Building

Miss USA 2019 And Attorney Cheslie Kryst Dies At 30 After Jumping From A 60-Story Building

Kryst worked free of charge to help prisoners who may have been sentenced unjustly get reduced punishments.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 31, 2022. It has since been updated.

Trigger Warning: This article contains details of suicide that may be distressing for readers.

Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst died at the age of 30. Kryst was an attorney who sought to help reform America's justice system. She was also crowned Miss USA as Miss North Carolina in May 2019. 



The beauty queen lived on the ninth floor of an Orion building and was last seen on a 29th-floor terrace, according to sources. She died after jumping from the 60-story building at 350 W. 42nd Street in New York City at around 7:15 a.m. local time, The New York Post reports. Shortly before she passed away, the 30-year-old lawyer posted on her Instagram page, May this day bring you rest and peace. “Not only beautiful but she was smart—she was a lawyer,” a police source said of Kryst. “She has a life that anyone would be jealous of. … It’s so sad.”



"In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie," Kryst's family said on Sunday in a statement, as per PEOPLE. "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. 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 added. Her family is requesting privacy during this difficult time.



Kryst was among three other women—Nia Imani Franklin (Miss America), Kaliegh Garris (Miss Teen USA), and Zozibini Tunzi (Miss Universe)—who became the first group of Black women to hold the titles in a single year. Speaking to Good Morning America at the time, she talked about "breaking barriers" while still feeling disheartened over some people's view of their success. "People will comment on our social media and be like, 'Why are we talking about your race? You guys are just four, amazing women,'" she said at the time. "And I'm like, 'Yes, we are four amazing women, but there was a time when we literally could not win!'"


Kryst also worked as a reporter for ExtraTV. Extra also expressed its sorrow over Kryst's death and offered its "deepest condolences to all her family and friends" in another statement obtained by PEOPLE. "Our hearts are broken," the statement read. "Cheslie was not just a vital part of our show, she was a beloved part of our Extra family and touched the entire staff." Kryst received three degrees from two universities and practiced civil litigation for a law firm. She worked with prisoners who may have been sentenced unjustly, to get reduced punishments, and she did this free of charge, as per CNN.



Back in 2019, Kryst opened up about mental health and how to cope with stress for World Mental Health Day. “I do a lot to make sure that I maintain my mental health,” she said on Facebook. “And the most important thing that I did is talk to a counselor. She’s really easy to talk to. She gives me great strategies especially if I’m sad or happy or have a busy month ahead of me. When I’m not talking to my counselor, I spend time at the end of every single day to just decompress,” Kryst added. “I unplug, I shut my phone off, I don’t answer messages. I just sit and watch my favorite movies.”

If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is, please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)










Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Paras Griffin