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'Bachelor' contestant Gia Allemand dies in apparent suicide

By CNN Staff
updated 8:26 AM EDT, Thu August 15, 2013
"MasterChef" runner-up Joshua Marks was in "the battle of his life fighting mental illness" when he killed himself on October 11, his family said. "MasterChef" runner-up Joshua Marks was in "the battle of his life fighting mental illness" when he killed himself on October 11, his family said.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: "Bachelor" creator says "This is a devastating loss for anyone who ever knew her"
  • Her boyfriend says she was "the most beautiful person I knew"
  • She was discovered unconscious by her boyfriend Monday night
  • Allemand, 29, appeared opposite Jake Pavelka on Season 14 of "The Bachelor"

(CNN) -- Former "Bachelor" contestant Gia Allemand died Wednesday, two days after an apparent suicide attempt, a statement released on behalf of her family said. She was 29.

Allemand was discovered unconscious Monday night by her boyfriend, NBA player Ryan Anderson, at her home in New Orleans, the statement said. She was rushed to University Hospital, where she remained unconscious and on life support.

The family said the model and reality TV personality was taken off life support Wednesday and she died "peacefully with her mother, boyfriend and other lifelong friends by her side."

'Bachelor' star Gia Allemand dead
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Allemand appeared on Season 14 of ABC's reality dating competition "The Bachelor," which aired in 2010, opposite commercial airline pilot Jake Pavelka. Although she didn't get the final rose signifying that she was his choice, she went on to compete on the first two seasons of the spinoff show "Bachelor Pad."

"Loved ones and fans will remember Gia Allemand as a caring woman who loved her family and was well-known for her compassion towards animals and mission to rescue homeless pets," the family statement said.

Anderson, who plays for the New Orleans Pelicans, said in a statement he is grateful for the love and support of family, friends and fans.

"Gia was the most beautiful person I knew inside and out and she always smiled and made everyone else around her smile," Anderson said. "She had such an amazing impact on my life and anyone that knew her was blessed. All I have left is to cherish those memories we made together and help perpetuate the many values, faith and love that we shared."

Mike Fleiss, creator and executive producer of "The Bachelor," released a statement saying, "The entire Bachelor family is tremendously saddened by the tragic passing of our friend, Gia. She was truly a sweet and generous soul. This is a devastating loss for anyone who ever knew her."

A number of her friends from her "Bachelor" days took to social media in shock over the news of her death, and her name became a trending topic on Twitter.

Host Chris Harrison tweeted: "It's with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our good friend Gia Allemand. She will be loved and missed by all who knew her."

Former "Bachelor" Pavelka said he was "devastated" over the news, calling her "a very dear friend."

"We have lost (an) angel today. I miss you Gia," he tweeted.

People we've lost in 2013

CNN's Jane Caffrey contributed to this report.

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