Sherell Nicole Baldwin was pregnant with a little girl when her burning body was found by shocked Houston firefighters who turned up to extinguish a blaze.
An autopsy also revealed the 24-year-old, who was in her third trimester had been viciously beaten before she was set on fire.
Baldwin, who had left her Huntsville, TX home to visit a friend, hit fame when she when she won a competition to be one of the top three girls to audition for America's Next Top Model.
Despite not making the cut, she continued to harbor catwalk ambitions, while studying at college, until her pregnancy put her modelling career on hold.
Her grandmother Mageline Kizzee told KHOU called her death was "a tragedy."
She said: "It’s something else. I can’t get used to it. She didn’t hurt nobody and didn’t bother anybody. She would help you if she could. She tried to make friends with everybody black or white, green or yellow.
She added: "All she wanted was a girl, so she was with a little girl. I’m going to miss her all the way, all the way."
Baffled cops say they do not have a motive or any witnesses in the death of Baldwin, who started modelling at 15.
So they are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS or HPD Homicide at 713-308-3600.