The actress and model died by suicide on April 20 at age 43

By Dana Rose Falcone
April 26, 2019 04:00 PM
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Oscar nominee Demián Bichir shocked Hollywood when he revealed on Tuesday that his wife, actress and model Stefanie Sherk, died on April 20 at age 43. On Thursday, the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed to PEOPLE that Sherk’s death has been ruled a suicide, with one of her causes of death being drowning.

“It has been the saddest and toughest time of our lives and we don’t know how much time it will take for us to overcome this pain,” Bichir, 55, wrote on Instagram. “Stefanie’s beautiful, angelical and talented presence will be immensely missed. We will hold Stefanie in our hearts forever.”

Bichir with Sherk in 2012.
| Credit: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

Sherk’s former costars and friends shared similar sentiments.

“I knew her as an amazingly loving human,” a friend of the couple tells PEOPLE. “She truly was an incredible woman.”

Actress and singer Denyz Tontz also remembered Sherk’s compassion. “Stefanie will be remembered for her beauty inside and out—what a gem and a truly lovely, kind soul,” she commented on Bichir’s Instagram. “I’m praying for you and your family and hope you all can find peace during this rough time.”

Diane Kruger — who worked with Bichir on The Bridge, which Sherk also appeared on — wrote, “Oh Demian, I’m so sorry I had no idea 💔 I’m sending you so much love in this difficult time.”

Sherk had a number of acting credits to her name, including a role in Bichir’s directorial debut, Un Cuento de Circo & A Love Song in 2016. She’s also had roles in #Hashtag: The Series, Valentine’s Day, Star Power, Loco Love, as well as the upcoming horror movie Grudge, which she filmed with John Cho and Andrea Riseborough.

Bichir and Sherk began dating in 2010. They did not have any children together, though Bichir has a daughter — Gala, born in 2011 — from a previous relationship.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.