Model Gabriela Mendes Viegas, crowned Miss Ilhéus 2018, was found dead on Saturday, May 4, in Bahia. According to family members, she was struggling with depression. Several online Brazilian sites are reporting that Viegas had committed suicide.
She was studying medicine at the Federal University of Bahia. The university issued a note of regret (translation in English from the original Portuguese):
"Today is a sad day. In this moment of extreme grief, words and even breathlessness are lacking. With great pain, AAAACVL reports the death of their colleague Gabriela Alexandre Mendes Viegas, of the 253rd class of FMB-UFBA.
We wish all comfort and strength for friends and family. The loss of a person so affable and full of goodness is distressing. The various expressions of affection and the impact of the news only reinforce the immeasurable loss of an incredible human being."
On Instagram, Ricardo Mello, a pageant expert, lamented the death of the model and said that the young woman was facing depression.
"@Gabrielamviegas has just lost the battle against depression. My sincere feelings to friends, family and all the pageant fans who suffer when discovering in the worst way that their goddesses are not immune to this sad disease, "he said.
Source: Osul.com.br, 5/5/2019
Back in July 10, 2016, Gabriela posted this photo of herself with her boyfriend at that time, fitness model Lucas Ferrara:
Two years ago, Gabriela represented the city of Ilheus at the Miss Bahia pageant (a state preliminary to Miss Brazil), but she did not win. She thanked her supporters on Facebook a day after the pageant: