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Kailia Posey's heartbroken family reveals cause of death of 16-year-old star

By Jemima Cruz Published May 04, 2022 4:57 pm Updated May 06, 2022 10:41 am

Condolences are all over Kailia Posey's Instagram account after her mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman, announced the death of the 16-year-old reality TV star.

Posey was the then five-year-old girl who went viral because of her grinning funny face reaction in an interview for Toddlers and Tiaras reality show, which she took part in way back 2012.

Gatterman announced her daughter's untimely demise on May 3, with a Facebook post showing Posey in a shiny high-slit gown taken before her high school prom held 16 days ago. 

"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," Gatterman wrote in the caption.

According to a report by, Posey's body was found inside a car at the Birch Bay State Park in Washington, USA on May 2. Reports suggested that the actress died in a car accident, although it was unclear whether another vehicle was involved. 

The following night, at 8:09 PM on May 3 (Pacific time), TMZ released a report wherein Posey's family confirmed she 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," Posey's family told the outlet.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by kailia (@kailiaposey)

The actress celebrated her 16th birthday on April 19, 13 days prior to her death. Her latest posts on Instagram reveal her new project called @Kailiacontortion where she was able to only post two videos showcasing her gymnastic ventures.

Posey is also pursuing pageantry as seen in a post displaying her participation in Teen Washington USA last February where she placed second runner up and was named most photogenic. 

She also was passionate about joining the entertainment industry with her experience in performing gymnastics and being managed by Cirque du Soleil, as well as playing a role in the Netflix film Eli

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A post shared by kailia (@kailiaposey)

"She won countless crowns & trophies after competing on the pageant circuit her entire life," her family recounted to TMZ. "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."

Her mother expressed her grief by posting several photo tributes for Kailia yesterday that includes an edited photo of the teen star with angel wings, a halo, and the phrase “Fly High Kailia” at the bottom. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or facing a mental health crisis, please reach out immediately to the Department of Health's National Center for Mental Health through its landline 1553 or via mobile at 0917-899-8727 and 0966-351-4518 for Globe and TM subscribers, and 0908-639-2672 for Smart and TNT subscribers.