Toddlers and Tiaras Star Kailia Posey Died by Suicide, Medical Examiner's Office Confirms

·2 min read

Toddlers and Tiaras alum Kailia Posey's cause of death has been confirmed by a medical examiner's office.

The Whatcom County Medical Examiner's Office in Washington announced in a news release this week that Posey died by suicide at age 16 earlier this month.

"The female was found deceased on May 2, 2022 in Blaine, Washington," the medical examiner's office said in their release, without naming Posey "out of respect for the family."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Unknown
Unknown

RELATED: Toddlers and Tiaras Star Kailia Posey Cause of Death Revealed by Family

Posey was best known for appearing on TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras, which originally aired from 2009 to 2013. The high schooler was 5 years old when she appeared on one episode of the reality series, which saw her compete in the California Tropic Arizona pageant. She became one of the show's most recognizable faces, after her reaction in an interview became a popular meme.

Kailia Posey
Kailia Posey

Kailia Posey Facebook

The teenager continued to compete in pageants after her brief stint on the show. In January, she announced she was competing in Miss Washington Teen USA in February. "One word. Thankful," she captioned a post on Instagram.

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

Kailia Posey
Kailia Posey

TLC Kailia Posey in Toddlers & Tiaras

Posey's mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman, announced the news of her daughter's death on Facebook earlier this month.

"I don't have words or any thoughts," Gatterman wrote alongside a photograph of Posey dressed in the sparkly gown she wore to a prom. "A beautiful baby girl is gone. Please give us privacy as we mourn the loss of Kailia. My baby forever."

Days after her death, Posey's family shared a statement with TMZ confirming that she had died by 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," relatives said, per the outlet.

Elaborating on Posey's accomplishments, the statement continued, "She won countless crowns and trophies after competing on the pageant circuit her entire life… Her highly acclaimed talent as a contortionist had already led to professional touring job offers, and she had recently been selected to be a cheerleader at her high school next fall."

A foundation in her name has since been established through the Whatcom Community Foundation in Washington state. "Your gift to the Kailia Posey Teen Crisis Intervention Fund will help get much needed resources to students in crisis. Thank you for honoring Kailia's short, beautiful life by helping other young people," a donation page reads.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting