Kailia Posey, known for her role in Toddlers and Tiaras has tragically passed away at age 16, mere days after attending her high school prom. Washington State Patrol officer, Jacob Kennett told People that police were called at about 1.26pm on May 2 to investigate a death involving a minor at Birch Bay State Park.
Her mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman, took to Facebook to confirm the devastating news.
"I don't have words or any thoughts. A beautiful baby girl is gone. Please give us privacy as we mourn the loss of Kailia. My baby forever."
Posey appeared in one episode of Toddlers and Tiaras, which ran from 2009 to 2013, documenting the process of preparing young girls for beauty pageants. While she didn't have a starring role, she quickly shot to fame after a photo of her with a cheeky grin quickly turned viral, becoming a global meme.
Early reports had speculated that she died in a car accident, but her family revealed to TMZ that it was a result of suicide.
"Although she was an accomplished teenager with a bright future ahead of her, unfortunately in one impetuous moment, she made the rash decision to end her earthly life," they told the publication.
Her family also revealed that she was passionate about aviation, and had plans to earn her commercial pilot's license. Kailia had also planned to continue working in the entertainment industry following her success in pageantry and had recently been selected as a cheerleader for her high school.
The investigation is currently ongoing, but understandably, Kailia's family and community is in mourning.
Kailia's family has now set up a fund at the Whatcom Community Foundation in her name with the goal of providing resources to help students in crisis.
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