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Former Miss USA Contestant Found Dead at 37

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Thursday June 16, 2016 – Police are investigating the cause of death for Samantha Edwards, a former Fargo resident who was crowned Miss North Dakota USA for 2003.

Edwards, 37, was found dead by a friend Tuesday morning in her Minneapolis home, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said in a news release. A police report points out there was no obvious sign of trauma, but the cause of death is being investigated.

The Miss USA and Miss Teen USA organization posted a tribute to Edwards on Facebook, calling her one of the most “vibrant, energetic, and full-loving” women to ever hold one of the state Miss USA titles.

According to her Facebook page, Edwards had studied at the University of North Dakota and the Aveda Institute, a cosmetology school in Northeast Minneapolis. She was working as a freelance makeup artist.

A GoFundMe page was set up by Jessica Dereschuk, who won the title of Miss Minnesota USA 2004 and was a close friend of Edwards.

“Samantha Edwards, affectionately known by most as ‘Sami,’ was one of the most vibrant, crazy, compassionate, loyal balls of energy you could ever come across in life,” Dereschuk wrote. “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.”

In less than 48 hours of being created, the GoFundMe page exceeded its $15,000 goal.

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