Family of meme star Kailia Posey confirm she died by suicide aged 16

·2-min read
Photo credit: TLC
Photo credit: TLC

Star of TLC's Toddlers and Tiaras, Kailia Posey – who went on to inadvertently become known as the 'Grinning Girl' meme – died by suicide aged 16, her family have confirmed.

Speaking to TMZ, her family said of her tragic death: "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."

Sharing the news of her passing earlier this week, her mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman, posted a heartbreaking statement on Facebook: "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."

Prior to the deeply tragic death announcement, Marcy had been posting images of Kailia in a sparkling floor-length dress that she wore to prom.

The teenager leaves behind two brothers, Kai and Nick.

Plenty have flooded Kailia's Instagram page with comments expressing how much she meant to them and saying how much she'll miss them. Kadan Bart Rockett, who appeared on America's Got Talent, wrote underneath a photo Kailia posing on a staircase: "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. Rest In Peace. ❤️"

A fellow pageant competitor, Mariah Faith, wrote, "Thank you for being someone to look up to Kailia. Rest in peace 🤍🤍"

Kailia's close friend, Kal, posted a tribute to her, along with a series of photos of their happy memories together and said, "Kailia, you will always be my #1. You will always be my go-to. Thank you for the best memories and the best laughs.

"I hope you’re having the best time in heaven with god. You will always have my whole heart. You are the sweetest most amazing person I have ever come across. I now live my life through you, every thing I do is though you. I love you always and forever."

Our thoughts are with all of Kailia's loved ones during this very difficult time.

Samaritans are here to listen, day or night, whenever anyone needs, providing a safe and confidential space to talk openly and honestly. Whatever you are going through, you don’t have to face it alone. Call Samaritans free on 116 123, email or visit

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