After learning that “America’s Next Top Model” Cycle 21 contestant Mirjana Puhar was killed, Tyra Banks, the host, judge and executive producer of “ANTM,” and her fellow executive producer Ken Mok released a statement to "Access Hollywood" to express their sympathies Wednesday.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic news about Mirjana Puhar,” Banks and Mok said. “She was a vivacious and promising young woman. Our hearts and prayers go out to her loved ones.”
As previously reported, Puhar, 19, was killed in a triple homicide in Charlotte, North Carolina, Tuesday. The Serbian model had recently moved in with her boyfriend, Jonathan Alvarado, 23, and his roommate Jusmar Gonzaga-Garcia, 21, TMZ reports. A friend went to the apartment after hearing shots and found all three dead. The motive for the murder is unknown, but police believe it is drug-related.
"Preliminary information indicates that the victims and suspect were known to one another and this incident was drug-related," the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said in a statement. Authorities have arrested Emmanuel Jesus Rangel, 19, and charged him with three counts of first-degree murder.
Puhar competed in Cycle 21 of “ANTM,” which aired in fall 2014; she was eliminated in episode 10. The show's judges J. Alexander and Kelly Cutrone made statements on Twitter. Alexander shared his sympathies, while Cutrone told her followers that Puhar was “smart, lovely, strong, confident -- a stunning young woman.”
— Miss J Alexander (@MissJAlexander) February 25, 2015
My heart goes out to @mirjanapuhar's family. What you all need to know about M - smart, lovely, strong, confident - a stunning young woman.
— peoplesrev (@kellycutrone) February 26, 2015