Family Reveals That 16-Year-Old ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ Star Kailia Posey Died by Suicide

Do you know the meme of the little girl from the show “Toddlers and Tiaras” grinning from ear to ear? You’ve probably seen it around the Internet—people post it when they’re really excited about something.

Yes, we mean this one:

Unfortunately, that girl’s name is Kailia Posey, and she died at the age of 16 years old on May 1. Initially, the death was announced by Posey’s mother, Marcy Gatterman, who wrote: “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.”

In a recent statement, the family shared that the cause of her death was 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,” the statement said.

There were no signs that she was going to do this. “The days and weeks leading up to this, it seemed fine to me,” Gatterman told the outlet. “I didn’t go through her phone. For prom, she went with a bunch of friends. And the next day, everything was fine.”

Gatterman had left Posey to go to the store, and when she came back, Posey had taken her own life. According to authorities, Posey died by “asphyxia due to ligature hanging and the manner is suicide.”

“She left a note for me and then one for her best friend,” Gatterman revealed. “The note said that she loved me and that she was sorry and that her big brother is her best friend forever.”

Two weeks after her death, a blanket arrived for Gatterman (Posey had placed the order before she took her life). The letter with the blanket stated, “Dear Mom, even when I’m not close by, I want you to know I love and appreciate you. Always. Wrap yourself up in this and consider it a big hug. I love you.”

In an event to help other parents who might experience the same thing, Gatterman’s advice is to always be checking on your children. “Parents who have teenagers, check their phones,” she said. “And if you’re struggling, talk to your parents. They’re not judging you. They’re going to get you the help that you need, but we need to know what you need in order get the help you need.”

The Whatcom Community Foundation has a fund in her name with the goal of providing resources to help students in crisis. You can find it here.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Posey’s family and friends.