Crime

Former model died of bullet to neck-chest area, autopsy shows

Mirjana Puhar, a former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model,” was among three people shot to death in a Charlotte home in February.
Mirjana Puhar, a former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model,” was among three people shot to death in a Charlotte home in February. FILE PHOTO

Mirjana Puhar, the former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model” who was among three people shot to death in a Charlotte home in February, died of a gunshot wound to her neck and chest area, an autopsy report released Wednesday shows.

Puhar, 19, an East Mecklenburg High graduate, was killed along with Jonathan Alvarado-Cosme, 23, and Jusmar Isiah Gonzaga-Garcia, 21, in a one-story home on Norris Avenue off Graham Street, police said.

Puhar also had a gunshot wound to her upper right arm-shoulder area, her autopsy report shows.

The bullets that struck Puhar were of large caliber, according to the report.

Alvarado-Cosme died of a gunshot wound to his head, according to his autopsy report also released Wednesday by the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Police believe the shootings were drug-related and that the suspect, Emmanuel Jesus Rangel, 19, knew the people he’s accused of killing.

Puhar was born in Serbia and after the Kosovo War, her family fled the country with $50 to its name, she told the Observer in an interview last year. They moved to North Carolina a decade ago.

After attending East Mecklenburg High, Puhar attended Queen’s Grant High in Mint Hill before dropping out at age 16. She later earned her GED at Central Piedmont Community College.

In a statement after Puhar was killed, Ken Mok and Tyra Banks, executive producers of “America’s Next Top Model,” said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic news about Mirjana Puhar. She was a vivacious and promising young woman. Our hearts and prayers go out to her loved ones.”

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Twitter: @jmarusak

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