Gone too soon. Toddlers and Tiaras star Kailia Posey is dead at the young age of 16, her mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman, tragically confirmed. 

“I don’t have words or any thoughts. A beautiful baby girl is gone,” her mother wrote in a statement on her Facebook account on Monday, May 2. “Please give us the privacy as we mourn the loss of Kailia. My baby forever.” 

Posey’s cause of death was 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,” her family told TMZ in a statement.

In Touch can confirm that Posey’s death was reported in Washington state. “Yesterday on May 2 at 1:26pm Washington State Police was called to assist Whatcom County Sheriff on a juvenile death investigation at Birch Bay State Park,” a spokesperson for the Washington State Police said in a statement. Additionally, the Whatcom County Medical Examiner confirmed that Posey’s death is currently under investigation.

Photo Courtesy of Kailia Posey/Instagram

Posey was best known for her role on TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras, the same series that launched the career of Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson and aired for nine seasons from 2009 to 2013. The Lynden, Washington, native started her pageant career at 3 years old, and her mother was her biggest fan. “She’s a pro when she hits that stage,” she told producers on the series. “She’ll say she’s nervous but once she hits that stage she’s a pro. She’s gonna beat you, every time.” Appearing on the series at 5 years old, the show followed Posey and her mother as she competed in the California Tropic Arizona pageant. 

Becoming one of the most recognizable faces on the show after her reaction to an interview became a popular meme, she continued to compete in pageants. In January 2022, the high schooler announced she would be competing in Miss Washington Teen USA. Finishing in the top 3 a month later, she took to Instagram to share the news. Posey captioned the post, “One word. Thankful.”

According to her Miss Washington Teen USA profile, the young teen had made the dean’s list for the school year and also had plans to study aviation to become a commercial pilot. She hoped to “show members of her generation that they can positively impact the world if they are patient and work hard.” Also passionate about performing contortion with Cirque du Soleil, she had recently launched an Instagram account dedicated to the art form. 

Her mother also recently shared that the teen had celebrated prom on Saturday, April 30, with her friends. Posting a photo of Kailia looking stunning in a sparkly dress, her mother shared, “Wel the dress didn’t come in and the earring didn’t. So we found a dress ASAP. We make it work.”

Posey is survived by her parents and two siblings, brothers Kai and Nick. 

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