The death of former reality star Lyric McHenry has left her circle of friends reeling.
Etienne Maurice — one of McHenry’s close friends and the son of Broadway star Sheryl Lee Ralph — posted a heartfelt tribute in her honor on Wednesday.
“This s— doesn’t feel real yo,” he wrote. “I’ve never lost someone so close to me since my grandfather passed 6 years ago. Thank you to everyone for the prayers and condolences. If I haven’t responded to you please don’t take it personal. Just need some time to process everything.”
“Please keep the beautiful memories of my best friend alive in your minds and hearts and continue to pray for her family,” he continued. “I’ll miss you forever sis. Rest In Power Lyric.”
McHenry, a Stanford University alum, appeared on E!’s EJNYC in 2016, a now-defunct reality show starring Magic Johnson’s son, EJ Johnson.
She died Tuesday morning of a suspected drug overdose, according to multiple reports. She was 26.
According to the New York Daily News, McHenry was found on a sidewalk wearing a pajama top and underwear at 5 a.m. in the Bronx area of New York City. The paper reports that she was 20 weeks pregnant and that a small Ziplock bag of cocaine was found on her.
A New York Police Department spokesperson told PEOPLE a 26-year-old female was found unconscious and unresponsive in the area at that time but would not confirm her identity pending proper family notification.
According to the spokesperson, the woman was transported to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased. No obvious signs of trauma were observed. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death, and the investigation remains ongoing.
Maurice shared several more photos of his late friend, writing: “My Angel and Me. I love you so much Lyric.”
“Lyric Leigh McHenry: 08.06.92 — 08.14.18. Never Forget,” he said, adding in a final slide: “Lyric was legit my second sibling.”
Maurice’s mother also posted her own tribute to McHenry on Instagram.
“Lyric Leigh McHenry was a smart (Stanford alum smart), kind, loving young woman with a sparkling future ahead of her and now she’s gone,” she wrote. “A beloved daughter to Doug and Jennifer, a doting sister to Maya. She is deeply missed by family and friends and will be remembered always. I hold on to the joy of seeing her happy face at my front door over the years with stories to share and shows to produce. I love you my ‘child.’ Remember Divas, your life can change in the blink of an eye.”
McHenry’s death came hours after she celebrated her birthday during a night out with friends, which she chronicled with pictures and videos shared on her Instagram story. According to the social media posts, McHenry was at the Frederick Hotel, the Soho Grand Hotel and the Dream Hotel.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-622-HELP.
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