Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

BREAKING: Former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani joins Trump legal team

'America's Next Top Model' Contestant Mirjana Puhar Found Dead

 / Updated 
Former 'America's Next Top Model' contestant Mirjana Puhar was murdered in triple homicide on Tuesday February 24, 2015 in Charlotte, N.C. Puhar appeared on the show in 2014, cycle 21. LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 20: Model Mirjana Puhar and Cycle 21 models onstage during America's Next Top Model Cycle 21 premiere party presented by NYLON and LINE at SupperClub Los Angeles on August 20, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Rachel Murray / Getty Images

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

A 19-year-old former contestant on America's Next Top Model was one of three people killed in a drug-related killing in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday.

Mirjana Puhar who grew up in Charlotte after her family fled war-torn Serbia, was found shot to death with two other victims, Jusmar Isiah Gonzaga-Garcia, 21, and Jonathan Cosme Alvarado, 23, in a house in the city's Tryon Hills neighborhood Tuesday evening.

The alleged killer, Emmanuel Jesus Rangel, 23, was arrested Wednesday on three counts of first-degree murder. Police said he knew the victims and that the killings were drug related. Rangel has also been charged in connection with a murder that took place in nearby Matthews, North Carolina on Sunday, police said.

Puhar was a contestant last year in the 21st season of America's Next Top Model, where she was eliminated in the 10th episode. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, she recalled her journey from child refugee to high school dropout to McDonald's worker to the edge of pop culture fame. She spoke of her troubled teenaged years, in which he regularly skipped school and got into fights. She ended up getting her GED right before she was cast on the show.

Ken Mok and Tyra Banks, executive producers of America’s Next Top Model, released a joint statement Wednesday evening saying they were “deeply saddened" by news of Puhar's death. "She was a vivacious and promising young woman. Our hearts and prayers go out to her loved ones," they said.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 Former 'America's Next Top Model' contestant Mirjana Puhar was murdered in triple homicide on Tuesday February 24, 2015 in Charlotte, N.C. Puhar appeared on the show in 2014, cycle 21. LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 20: Model Mirjana Puhar attends America's Next Top Model Cycle 21 premiere party presented by NYLON and LINE at SupperClub Los Angeles on August 20, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Rachel Murray / Getty Images

SOCIAL

— Jon Schuppe

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.