Amber-Lee Friis, a 2018 Miss Universe New Zealand finalist, has died, her talent agency confirmed. She was 23.
“It is with immense sadness we acknowledge the sudden passing of a beautiful and talented Wahine Amber-lee Friis,” The Talent Tree wrote in a statement on Facebook on Monday.
“Amber-Lee was one of our original Models for The Talent Tree and a finalist in 2018 Miss Universe NZ [Miss World New Zealand],” the statement continued. “Our sincere aroha and condolences to Amber-Lee’s family and friends. R.I.P beautiful lady.”
A representative for the New Zealand Police in Auckland told Fox News on Friday that police attended a sudden death on Monday and the death has been referred to the coroner.
No other details about her death are currently known.
Following the tragic news, tributes came pouring in, including from the Miss World New Zealand’s official Facebook page.
“Our sincerest condolences to the friends and whānau of Amber-lee Friis, whom we have just learned from The Talent Tree has passed away. Continue shining brightly, Amber-lee, just as we remembered you,” the statement read.
The CEO of Miss World NZ, Nigel Godfrey, also paid tribute to Friis on Monday.
“A couple of years back when we were running ‘the other one’ Amber-Lee Friis swept into our lives, she was a force to be reckoned with ;-) This was one of the many International stories that she generated after entering, and it’s so sad to read it now,” Godfrey wrote on Facebook.
He continued: “She was feisty, definitely took no prisoners, but she was a beautiful soul and you 100% knew what you were getting. She was genuine, honest and she had an energy few others possess, her heart was most definitely in the right place. We liked and respected her and were very proud to call her a friend, long after the competition had finished.”
“Amber Lee turned her life, and indeed her experience with us around, and into an incredibly positive force for good. In the years since she has been loyal and supportive and we value that above anything. Tragically she passed away yesterday, the world is a lesser place without her in it. She had a great deal more to give and it is a dreadful tragedy that she won’t be here to realise her unlimited potential. RIP Amber Lee you have left us far, far too soon,” Godfrey concluded his post.