Tyra Banks and Ken Mok, executive producers of America’s Next Top Model, released a joint statement Wednesday evening saying they were “deeply saddened” by news of Mirjana Puhar’s death. “She was a vivacious and promising young woman. Our hearts and prayers go out to her loved ones,” they said.

Mirjana Puhar found murdered

Mirjana Puhar was on Season 21 of America’s Next Top Model 2014.

A 19-year-old former contestant on America’s Next Top Model Mirjana Puhar found murdered at her boyfriend’s Charlotte, N.C., home and was one of three victims killed in a drug-related killing on Tuesday. The alleged killer, Emmanuel Jesus Rangel, 23, was arrested Wednesday on three counts of first-degree murder. According to the police, the suspect knew the victims and that the killings were drug related. in addition, Rangel has also been charged in connection with a murder that took place in nearby Matthews, North Carolina on Sunday.

Mirjana Puhar who grew up in Charlotte, was a contestant last year in the 21st season of America’s Next Top Model. She was eliminated in the 10th episode. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Puhar recalled her journey from child refugee to high school dropout to McDonald’s worker to the edge of pop culture fame. She spoke of her troubled teenage years, in which he regularly skipped school and got into fights. She ended up getting her GED right before she was cast on the show.

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