Family of Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst Announce Public Memorial to Celebrate Her Life


A public memorial will take place for former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, that will be livestreamed, her family announced on Thursday, according to published news reports.

The family will host a public celebration of life on Friday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Elevation Blakeney. The event will also be streamed for those who will be unable to attend, WCNC Charlotte reported

The family will be observing a private, invitation-only celebration prior to the public event, and continue to ask the public to respect their privacy during this time, People reported. 

The news of Kryst’s death shocked the nation after the 30-year-old died by suicide on Jan. 30. She jumped from her 60-story luxury midtown high-rise apartment building. She had left behind a note leaving everything to her mother, according to a previously reported Inside Edition story.

“May this day bring you rest and peace,” was an Instagram post hours before the unspeakable tragedy. 

Kryst was beloved by her Charlotte community. In 2019, she was crowned Miss USA. She was also an attorney, who fought for social justice, and a correspondent for EXTRA. 

She discussed her identity as a Black woman, and how important it was that she, along with Mia Franklin and Kaleigh Garris, made history when the three Black woman held the titles of Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss America, Inside Edition previously reported. 

She was also an advocate for mental health and spoke of her own mental health struggles and had told Inside Edition Digital in a previous interview that, “I do a lot to make sure I maintain my mental health and the most important thing I did was talk to a counselor,” she said.

Her heartbroken family put out a statement following the tragic news and her mother, April Simpkins, a former beauty pagent queen told People that she has “never known a pain as deep as this.” 

“Cheslie led both a public and a private life,” Simpkins said, in part. “In her private life, she was dealing with high-functioning depression which she hid from everyone — including me, her closest confidant — until very shortly before her death.”

Remembering her daughter’s beauty and spirit, Simpkins said, in part, “Your smile and laugh were infectious. I love you baby girl with all my heart. I miss you desperately. I know one day we’ll be together again. Until then, rest easy and in peace.”

Simpkins asked that in lieu of flowers to send donations to “Dress for Success,” an organization, she said that was “dear” to her daughter’s heart.

LaToya Evans, a spokesperson for Kryst family and close friend of Cheslie told WCNC Charlotte that she had spoken to Kryst just days before her death.

”There were no signs,” Evans said. “That’s because Cheslie — as bright and intelligent and as beautiful as she was — she never wanted to burden anyone. Her gift was her light, and in that, she didn’t share the true story of her depression until unfortunately very shortly before her death.”

Evans said she will continue Kryst’s legacy. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to


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