Reality television fans were stunned and saddened earlier this month when it emerged that Toddlers & Tiaras star Kailia Posey had passed away at the age of 16, news that has been made all the more tragic by the medical examiner’s confirmation that she died of suicide by hanging, as Fox News reports.
The teen’s death was initially reported in early May in a Facebook announcement made by her mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman, according to CBS News.
Including a photo of Posey smiling in a glamorous gown, Gatterman 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.”
Speculation as to what caused Posey’s death quickly popped up online, with some hinting that an auto accident may have been to blame. However, on Wednesday, the Whatcom County (Washington) Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that she died by “asphyxia due to ligature hanging and the manner is suicide.”
In a statement concerning their loved one’s death, Posey’s family stated, “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,” as the Daily Mail noted.
Posey first gained notoriety through her appearances on the aforementioned TLC program, which offered audiences a look behind the scenes of children’s pageants, and she recently competed for the title of Miss Teen Washington, as CBS News further noted.
Maureen Francisco, a producer who knew Posey from her involvement in one of the teen’s recent pageant appearances, expressed her disbelief over the youngster’s sad ending.
“When I first saw the post that her mom posted about Kailia, I was in shock. I didn’t believe it. At first I thought maybe her mother’s Facebook got hacked, so I had to wait. I realized it wasn’t going away, that this is actually real,” said Francisco.
“She was such a nice gal. She was so nice to our team, fellow contestants. I just remember her during pageant weekend, and she was constantly smiling, laughing, and she is a typical teen. The energy around her…she is definitely going to be greatly missed,” she added.