Lyric McHenry, the former EJNYC reality star, died Tuesday morning of a suspected drug overdose

By Karen Mizoguchi
August 15, 2018 05:06 PM
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Credit: Lyric McHenry/Instagram

Five days before her death, former reality star Lyric McHenry was “very excited about the future,” according to her family friend.

Lisa Nkonoki, who saw McHenry on Aug. 11, opened up about the last conversations she had with the pregnant 26-year-old, who died Tuesday morning of a suspected drug overdose.

“She was delightful. She seemed positive, healthy and full of life,” Nkonoki told the New York Daily News on Wednesday.

“She was so excited and sweet,” said Nkonoki, who spent time with McHenry at the 16th annual Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival on Saturday evening.

“She wrote me a nice note late Sunday or early Monday thanking me for everything. She was just wonderful,” Nkonoki added.

She and McHenry also saw each other earlier that week when the EJNYC star lovingly talked about her family.

“She spoke about her parents, her love for her family. She spoke about being best friends with Magic Johnson’s son and projects she’s working on. She was very excited about the future,” recalled Nkonoki, who found out about the tragic passing from McHenry’s father.

“He’s devastated. He had to get off the phone, he was just so devastated. I’m grateful he was able to call, but he was devastated. It’s just awful,” she said.

Credit: Lyric McHenry/Instagram

McHenry was found on a sidewalk wearing a pajama top and underwear at 5 a.m. in the Bronx area of New York City, according to the New York Daily News, which also reported that she was 20 weeks pregnant and that a small Ziplock bag of cocaine was found on her. However, in a statement about her death, her family said, “Despite the speculation in earlier reports, at this point in time the cause of Lyric’s death has yet to be determined.” Her family also did not mention any pregnancy.

A New York Police Department spokesperson told PEOPLE that 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.

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, she was at the Frederick Hotel, the Soho Grand Hotel and the Dream Hotel.

McHenry, a Stanford University alum, appeared on E!’s EJNYC in 2016, a now-defunct reality show starring Magic’s son, EJ Johnson.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-622-HELP.