Miss USA 2019 Chesley Christmother, April Simpkins spoke after Fr. confirmed by a medical expert Chesley’s death was a suicide.
The 30-year-old Chelsea jumped from the terrace of the 29th floor of her apartment building near Times Square in Manhattan on January 30.
Related: RIP: Former Miss United States Chesley Christ died of suicide at the age of 30
Her mother, April Simpkins, said in a statement received by PEOPLE:
“I have never felt such deep pain. I have changed forever. Today it was officially confirmed that our family and friends knew privately about the cause of death of my sweet girl Chesley. “
Simpkins’ story as a beauty pageant winner has greatly influenced Chesley, who followed in her mother’s footsteps.
“I remember watching her win and walking with her during her reign,” wrote Chesley, who was also a lawyer, in a 2019 blog for the North Carolina Bar Association.
Simpkins, who was named Mrs. North Carolina in 2002, told PEOPLE: “Although it’s hard to believe, it’s true. Chesley led both public and private life. In her personal life she has dealt with depression with a high level of functioning which she hid from everyone – including me, her closest confidant – until shortly before her death. “
“We miss her laughter, her wise words, her sense of humor and mostly her hugs. We miss her – we miss her. She was an important part of our family, which makes this loss even more devastating,” Simpkins said. continued.
Instead of flowers Simpkins asks to make donations Dress for success“An organization that was dear” to her daughter’s heart.
“If you or anyone else is struggling with suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255,” Simpkins added. “Thank you all for continuing to respect our family’s privacy while we grieve.”