Former Miss USA North Dakota found dead in Minneapolis

Published 10:45 am Thursday, June 16, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS — A former contestant in the Miss USA pageant from North Dakota has died in Minneapolis.

The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office says the body of 37-year-old Samantha Edwards was found in her home in north Minneapolis on Tuesday. The medical examiner said Wednesday the cause of Edwards’ death remains under investigation.

Edwards represented North Dakota in the Miss USA pageant in 2003. Her friend, Miss Minnesota USA 2004 Jessica Dereschuk, says Edwards had been working as a freelance makeup artist.

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Dereschuk says her friend, known as Sami, loved making people feel special on their birthdays. A GoFundMe page started by Dereschuk to raise money for Edwards’ funeral had raised more than $17,000 by Wednesday evening.

A funeral is planned June 24 in Edwards’ hometown of Grand Forks, North Dakota.