Toddlers and Tiaras star Kailia Posey dead at 16: Cause of death, mum’s statement

Child star Kailia Posey, whose evil grin became an internet sensation, has tragically died just days after her high school prom.

Toddlers & Tiaras star Kailia Posey has died. She was 16.

Posey’s mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman, announced the news on Facebook this week.

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

Posey was pronounced dead in Birch Bay State Park, in Washington, at around 1.20pm on Monday, Washington State Patrol (WSP) Trooper Jacob Kennett confirmed.

Kennett said WSP was summoned to the park at 1.26pm to assist the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office with a “juvenile death investigation.”

Earlier reports suggested that Posey had been involved in a car accident in Las Vegas. While confirming that Posey actually died in her home state of Washington, Kennett said he was unable to comment on whether or not a vehicle was involved in her death.

Posey’s mother did not share her daughter’s cause of death. Birch Bay State Park is a 30-minute drive away from her family’s home in Lynden.

Gatterman had posted photos of Posey attending prom just a few days prior to her death.

She had just celebrated her 16th birthday on April 19, according to posts from her friends and family on social media.

She was a freshman at Lynden High School and recently earned a spot on the school’s cheerleading team for the upcoming season, according to family posts on Facebook.

Lynden’s cheerleading team shared a series of tributes to its Instagram on Tuesday, with one image showing Posey with wings superimposed across her shoulders and a halo above her head.

The team also shared two quotes, with the first reading: “Please stay. The world is better with you in it.”

A second read: “Speaking a few kind words might be the most important thing you will do today.”

Posey was a young star on the TLC reality series, which ran from 2009 to 2013 and featured families who prepared their children to compete in beauty pageants. She became a popular GIF when her adorable “evil” grin went viral.

In a throwback scene from Toddlers and Tiaras, Kailia’s mom described her then 10-year-old daughter as a “cuddling puppy and a spicy little monkey.”

She continued: “When Kailia was younger, and she was three, she started doing pageants and she’s a pro when she hits that stage.

“She’ll say she’s nervous but once she hits that stage she’s a pro.”

“I don’t know anybody that’s competition for Kailia,” Marcy added.

She kept up with the pageant circuit as a teen and even announced on Instagram in January that she was gearing up to compete as Miss Washington Teen USA in February. As she grew up, she also took an interest in body contortion and launched an Instagram account solely for that hobby.

Fans have flooded both of her social media accounts to share their heartbreak and prayers.

“Can’t even believe this has happened. I’m praying for you guys to get through this. She always was so kind to all of us,” commented America’s Got Talent contestant Kadan Bart Rockett.

“Rest In Peace️” wrote one fan.

“playing soccer with you is now a core memory. heaven gained an angel,” added another friend.

—New York Post, The Sun

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