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

Kailia Posey's mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman, confirmed her death on Facebook Monday

Toddlers and Tiaras alum Kailia Posey died by suicide, TMZ reported, citing her family.

The outlet confirmed the news Tuesday, and shared a statement from the 16-year-old's heartbroken family.

"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 TMZ.

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."

Posey's family did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. 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.

Posey's mother Marcy Posey Gatterman confirmed the news of her daughter's death on Facebook Monday. At the time, Gatterman shared a photo of the teen smiling in the sparkly gown she wore to prom last month.

Kailia Posey
Kailia Posey Facebook

"I don't have words or any thoughts," she wrote. "A beautiful baby girl is gone. Please give us privacy as we mourn the loss of Kailia. My baby forever."

Gatterman later updated her profile photo and cover image to honor her late daughter, uploading images picturing Posey as an angel.


On Tuesday, the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office confirmed to PEOPLE that it was part of a multi-agency investigation related to the death of the former TLC star.

Washington State Patrol could not formally confirm the identify the subject of the death investigation as the individual is a juvenile, but did confirm to PEOPLE it is involved in an ongoing death investigation.

Washington State Parks Department also confirmed the investigation to PEOPLE.

Kailia Posey
Kailia Posey in Toddlers & Tiaras. TLC

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, and she became one of the series' most recognizable faces after her reaction in an interview became a popular gif.

Posey 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.

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.

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