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NCIS: Hawai'i cast mourn tragic death of show writer Yakira Chambers

Vanessa Lachey led the tributes 

yakira chambers
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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The cast of NCIS: Hawai'i have paid tribute to show writer and story editor Yakira Chambers, who has sadly died at the age of 42. 

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Yakira's preliminary cause of death has been attributed to acute asphyxiation, according to Deadline. The actress was with her mother outside a mall in Newport Beach in California last Wednesday evening when she began suffering breathing difficulties and collapsed. 

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Yakira joined NCIS: Hawai'i in its first season as a staff writer, penning four episodes before being promoted to story editor for series two. 

The show will pay tribute to the actress, which will appear after a three-hour NCIS universe crossover event set to air on  2 January.   

Yakira's family wrote in a statement: "Her sudden and untimely death has left us all grief-stricken. Yakira was a light, a symbol of hope to our community, a steward of our culture, and a representation of what pursuing your dreams looks like.

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"Yakira's passion extended beyond her daily work in the business; she loved helping others create a way out of no way. She believed in equity, and the demarginalization of persons of color to create a level playing field for all. This passion was actualized in the form of her foundation, CureConstanceFoundation, an organization born out of the necessity for finding financial options for those in health crisis." 

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Vanessa Lachey paid tribute to the writer on Instagram

Star of the drama Vanessa Lachey has shared a heartfelt tribute to Yakira on her Instagram page. "It's been a difficult week for our NCIS Hawai'i Ohana as we mourn the sudden loss of one of our talented writers, Yakira Chambers," she wrote, before going on to say that Yakira was behind some of her "favorite moments" on the show and always wrote her character, Jane Tennant, as "a strong" woman and mother. 

She concluded the statement by saying: "I am still at a loss and have hugged my babies even tighter than usual. Yakira, I will miss you, we will miss you… Rest In Love My Beautiful Angel." 

Tori Anderson, who plays Kate Whistler in the drama, also shared a message. "Yakira radiated goodness, losing her is devastating," she wrote on Twitter. "Sending my deepest sympathies to her loved ones and family. Please take a second to read about this remarkable woman."

Vanessa Lachey and Linc Hand© Photo: Instagram

Yakira was a story editor on the show

Alongside her work on NCIS: Hawai'i, Yakira was known for her acting roles in HBO's Insecure, the comedy short series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl and comedy show M.O. Diaries, in which she played Michelle Obama.

She leaves behind her husband, Anthony Welch, stepson André Welch, and her mother, Constance Chambers.

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