The New Zealand Police Department said in a statement that Friiss cause of death is currently unclear. Officials told People they responded to a “sudden death,” and that the beauty queens death has been referred to the coroner.
No other details about her death are currently known.
“It is with immense sadness we acknowledge the sudden passing of a beautiful and talented Wahine Amber-lee Friis,” her talent agency said on Facebook, adding a picture of the 2018 Miss Universe New Zealand finalist.
“Amber-Lee was one of our original models for The Talent Tree,” the statement continued. “Our sincere aroha and condolences to Amber-Lees family and friends. R.I.P beautiful lady.”
Friis was part of the 2018 Miss Universe New Zealand competition and was one of 20 finalists, Stuff reported. The beauty queen traveled to Thailand as part of the pageant.
Tributes poured in following the news of Friiss death.
Nigel Godfrey, the CEO of Miss World New Zealand posted a lengthy tribute on Facebook and said Friis “was a force to be reckoned with.”
“She was feisty, definitely took no prisoners, but she was a beautiful soul and you 100 percent knew what you were getting,” Godfrey wrote. “She was genuine, honest, and she had an energy few others possess, her heart was most definitely in the right place.”
“We liked and respected her and were very proud to call her a friend, long after the competition had finished,” he continued.
“She had a great deal more to give and it is a dreadful tragedy that she wont be here to realize her unlimited potential,” the tribute read. “RIP Amber-Lee you have left us far, far too soon.”
Miss World New Zealands official Facebook page also paid tribute to the model, saying, “Continue shining brightly, Amber-Lee, just as we remembered you.”
Friis shared an inspiring life-changing story during an interview with Stuff in 2018.