Kailua Posey’s death: Her unexpected demise detailed

Kailia Posey was the face behind the famous GIF of a girl grinning from ear-to-ear, aptly earning her the title ‘grinning girl.’ Posey made that face during an appearance on TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras, a reality show that followed the families of children who competed in beauty pageants. 

Per Deadline, Kailia made one appearance on the show, but she earned lasting internet fame through her animated grin. Posey modeled all her life, and in February 2022, she competed for the Miss Washington Teen USA title. In 2021, she earned the Miss Lynden Teen USA crown. 

Unfortunately, Kailia Posey died in early May 2022. 

Posey’s family announced that Kailia Posey died due to suicide

“I don’t have words or any thoughts,” Posey’s mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman, wrote alongside a Facebook photo of Kailia on 3rd May 2022. “A beautiful baby girl is gone. Please give us privacy as we mourn the loss of Kailia. My baby forever.”

Kailia’s family initially didn’t publicize her cause of death. However, Washington State Police confirmed to the Daily Mail that they were investigating a juvenile death at Birch Bay State Park. 

Unfortunately, all manner of false rumors sprung up purporting to explain Posey’s death. To end the false reports and persistent inquiries by the media, Posey’s stepfather Steve Gatterman posted a lengthy message on Facebook confirming that Kailia Posey had committed suicide. The statement read:

“He friends and family are devastated, but in an effort to provide some answers for her many friends and admirers across the country, and to stop additional speculation and intrusion on the family’s request for privacy, we offer the following statement.”

The message praised Kailia’s brief but memorable pageant career. It also mentioned that she was an accomplished contortionist and was set to join the cheerleading team at her high school. Posey planned to become a pilot while continuing her exploits in the entertainment industry. 

“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,” the family statement read. 

Posey’s family asked for privacy as they mourned Kailia. The statement continued:

“We are completely shattered as a family and left with more questions than answers. We ask for privacy as we attempt to find ways to cope with senseless loss of our beautiful girl. Our hope is that she will be remembered for her sweet spirit and the way she touched so many lives in a positive way.”

Posey’s family has pleaded for donations to the Kailia Posey Teen Crisis Intervention Fund

Posey’s family said through its final statement that it doesn’t want Kailia’s demise to be in vain. “It is our desire that her departure from this Earth will not be in vain and that other lives can be saved,” the statement reads.

The family urges people to donate to the Kailia Posey Teen Crisis Intervention Fund set up at the Whatcom Community Foundation. The funds will help students in crisis. 

Finally, the family urges people to prevent suicide by calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline:

“If you or anyone you know is contemplating ending their life, HELP IS AVAILABLE. Reach out to family, friends, and/or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255.

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