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16-year-old Kailia Posey, who was the second runner-up of Miss Washington Teen USA, was found deceased on May 2, 2022.
The Medical Examiner’s Office cause and manner of death was “asphyxia due to ligature hanging and the manner is suicide,” according to authorities.
“The Whatcom County Medical Examiner’s Office has completed an examination on a 16-year-old female,” the report notes.
“Her identity will not be released here out of respect for the family. The female was found deceased on May 2, 2022, in Blaine, Washington. The cause of death is asphyxia due to ligature hanging and the manner is suicide. The autopsy and toxicology reports are not public information.”
Fox News Digital has contacted the Washington State Patrol trooper handling the investigation.
Her mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman, said, “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.”
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Maureen Francisco, the executive producer of NW Productions, LLC, worked with Posey at the Miss Washington competition earlier this year and was shocked by Kailia’s death.
“When I first saw the post that her mom posted about Kailia, I was in shock, I didn’t believe it,” Francisco said. “At first, I thought maybe her mother’s Facebook got hacked, so I had to wait. I realized it wasn’t going away, that this is actually real. That’s when it really hit me — like wow.
“She was such a nice gal. She was so nice to our team, fellow contestants. I just remember her during pageant weekend, and she was constantly smiling, laughing, and she is a typical teen. The energy around her … she is definitely going to be greatly missed.”
Posey first found fame on the hit TLC show “Toddlers & Tiaras” when she was just five years old, and lives on in meme history as the “Grinning Girl” from a 2011 episode. The show also launched the career of Alana Thompson, aka Honey Boo Boo, and her family, who produced multiple spin-offs.
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Posey continued competing on the pageant circuit long after the reality show had ended in 2013 and a short-lived revival of the program in 2016.