Prior to her death, Payton was battling the flu and "possibly meningitis", according to a profile on CaringBridge.org, USA Today reported. 'She's been in a coma since and really needs a miracle right now.
Payton, who had been on the Federalist staff for more than three years, received an outpouring of support from the community in the hours since the news broke. By Friday afternoon, Murtaugh had updated her tweet.
"Unfortunately Bre has passed", Murtaugh wrote. Last we saw her, she was her amusing, smart, vivacious self. "I am in complete shock that we lost this handsome soul, and am comforted only by the faith she had in the Lord", Problematic Women co-host Kelsey Harkness tweeted.
Added Murtaugh in another tweet, "Rest in paradise you attractive soul".
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It's not clear how she contracted the virus.
Meghan McCain, daughter of late senator John McCain, described Payton as "a wonderful, fearless, vibrant, intelligent young woman".
"We are less without her - in every possible way", McCain wrote. "Please pray for her broken hearted loved ones, who are undoubtedly reeling".
Among her first on-camera appearances that year was on Newsmax TV, which gave me the opportunity to observe her first-hand as she developed a pleasant and winning style. "Bre was taken to the hospital where she was admitted to the ICU, sedated & intubated". The family is asking for prayers and privacy at this time, the Federalist said.
After the sudden and tragic news of Payton's death was announced, friends, colleagues and fans of Payton flooded Twitter with messages remembering her and expressing dismay at her passing. Our prayers for Bre_payton and her family.