Cheslie Kryst was beloved by the Miss USA community, and several women who had also previously competed in the pageant are mourning her after her death on Jan. 30. “Rest in peace angel,” Olivia Culpo wrote on her Instagram story. “What an unimaginable loss.” She also commented on Cheslie’s last Instagram photo: “You were always so kind and full of light. The ultimate role model with so much to offer the world. Rest in peace sweet Cheslie.”
Caelynn Miller-Keyes reflected on the amazing person that Cheslie was, writing, “This is heartbreaking. Cheslie was an incredible human. I was always in awe of her. She was smart, kind humble and so much more.” Meanwhile, Pia Wurtzbach, who was the winner of Miss Universe in 2015, wrote, “So sorry, Cheslie. You were so kind. Thank you. You’re an inspiration and loved by so many. Rest in peace, Cheslie.”
Sarah Rose Summers, who crowned Cheslie with the title of Miss USA in 2019 and knew her well, wrote a lengthy statement about the loss on Instagram. “Although I crowned her, I looked up to her in many ways,” she wrote. “She was a bright light of wisdom, dedication and strength. She truly was a star — a Division 1 athlete turned attorney at just 26, before making history as the oldest woman to be crowned Miss USA at 28 and went on to place in the top 10 at Miss Universe.” She closed her statement with an important message to her followers: “Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family the tough questions and be aware and on the lookout for warning signs of a mental health struggle, like changes in behavior or even verbal cues.”
Cheslie died by suicide after jumping from a building in Manhattan, police confirmed to CNN. Before her death, she posted a photo on Instagram with the caption, “May this day bring you rest and peace.” The comments section of the photograph is now filled with messages from fans and friends who are mourning Cheslie.
“There are no words,” Nia Sanchez, who won Miss USA 2014, wrote, “Your light will continue to shine.” Mari Pepin, who was a contestant at Miss USA 2019 and also appeared on Bachelor in Paradise, commented, “Beautiful Ches, may you rest peacefully. We love you so much.” Another Bachelor contestant, Victoria Paul, also knew Cheslie from the 2019 Miss USA Pageant. “I’ll always carry the light you gave to me,” she wrote. “I love you, Ches. I’ll never stop.”
Cheslie was loved by so many. Following her death, her family released a statement confirming the news. “In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie,” it said. “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.”