Former Miss USA Contestant Samantha ‘Sami’ Edwards Found Dead at Age 37 


A former Miss USA contestant from North Dakota was found dead on Tuesday, June 14, in her home in Minneapolis. She was 37. Investigators are waiting for autopsy results to determine the cause of death, the Star Tribune reported.

Samantha “Sami” Edwards was crowned Miss North Dakota in 2003. The freelance makeup artist studied at the University of North Dakota and attended the Aveda Institute, a beauty school, in Minneapolis, according to her Facebook page.  

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Her best friend, Miss Minnesota USA 2004, Jessica Dereschuk, created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the funeral expenses. 

“[Sami] was one of the most vibrant, crazy, compassionate, loyal balls of energy you could ever come across in your life,” wrote Dereschuk. “A conversation with her could either leave you full of adrenaline or utterly exhausted. She was a spitfire and with Sami you never knew what she’d throw your way — but you ALWAYS knew she would be there for you. She was awesome like that.” 

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Dereschuk said the beauty queen was also famed for her detailed tablescapes. “She loved to gather people together and feed them and create memories,” Dereschuk shared. “If you were close to Sami, then I know that you have at least one time, had her famous Spaghetti with Zoodles (zucchini noodles)! Being around food & friends/family is when she was truly the happiest and in her element.”

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On Tuesday, the Miss USA Pageant Update Facebook page wrote: “Sad news out of the Peace Garden State today, Rest in Peace Samantha Edwards forever Miss ND USA 2003 who passed away suddenly this morning.”

Edwards’ funeral will be held in her hometown of Grand Forks, North Dakota, KARE11 reported.

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