Authorities in the US are investigating the death of Toddlers & Tiaras star Kailia Posey.
The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office in Washington State has confirmed to People that it is part of a multi-agency investigation into the death of the 16-year-old, who appeared on the TLC reality show when she was five years old.
“On May 2 at about 1.26 PM, Washington State Patrol was called to assist Whatcom Sheriff’s department to assist in a death investigation involving a minor at Birch Bay State Park,” the Washington State Patrol Public Information Officer told the publication, adding that it too is part of a multi-agency investigation.
On Monday, Kailia’s mother Marcy Posey Gatterman confirmed the news of her daughter’s death in a Facebook post alongside a photo of her dressed for prom.
“I don’t have words or any thoughts. A beautiful baby girl is gone,” she wrote.
Neither Kailia’s mother nor the investigating agencies confirmed her cause of death.
Toddlers & Tiaras, which originally aired from 2009 – 2013, was a controversial series that documented the world of toddler and child pageantry. It gave rise to the fame of Honey Boo Boo and made a number of its stars recognisable faces through viral gifs and memes.
Kailia became one of the show’s most viral faces after a reaction she gave during the interview confessional portion of the show became a popular gif.
The teen continued competing in pageants long after her stint on the show, even announcing as recently as January that she would be competing in Miss Washington Teen USA.
Update: Hours after this article was published, it was reported by TMZ that Kailia’s family confirmed she sadly died by suicide. The Kailia Posey Teen Crisis Intervention Fund has since been set up in her honour, aiming to provide “much needed resources to students in crisis”.
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