Posted on: 02/27/2015

Former "America"s Next Top Model" contestant slain

Mirjana Puhar, a recent contestant on "America"s Next Top Model," was found dead in a triple homicide Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to police reports. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department responded to a call Tuesday evening that three people appeared to be dead in a Charlotte home. Officers discovered the bodies of Puhar, 19, Jonathan Cosme Alvarado, 23, and Jusmar Isiah Gonzaga-Garcia, 21. Puhar appeared on "America"s Next Top Model" Cycle 21, the most recent season of the popular reality TV show hosted by supermodel Tyra Banks. Emmanuel Jesus Rangel, 19, was quickly identified as a suspect in the slayings, brought into police custody and charged with three counts of first-degree homicide. He is in the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff"s Office. Police said in a press release that it appears the victims and Rangel knew one another and the "incident was drug related." Rangel was also charged in connection with a homicide that took place in Matthews, North Carolina, on Sunday, police said. Puhar was a Serbian refugee who arrived in the United States along with her family at the age of 5, according to a profile in The Charlotte Observer. The 5" 9 1/2" beauty began modeling at 12. She attended high school in the Charlotte area and dropped out at 16 to her parents" dismay, she told The Observer: "I was a wild child," she said. "I went out, had fun, partied, whatever - I didn"t really have the best influences around me." She later earned her GED just before being cast in "America"s Next Top Model." Puhar was eliminated in the 10th episode of the show last year. After news of her death surfaced, Banks as well as fans and friends took to social media to remember her and express their sadness.