The internet was shaken to its core when news broke of the 16-year-old pageant contestant's death.
Kailia Posey
Kailia Posey
| Credit: Facebook

Kailia Posey was on the road to stardom from an early age.

The former Toddlers and Tiaras star's death was confirmed to be a suicide, according to TMZ and her family.

On May 2, Marcy Posey Gatterman, Posey's mother, confirmed her death on Facebook alongside a photo of her 16-year-old daughter in the sparkly gown she wore to prom in April 2022.

Posey was set to graduate with honors from high school next month.

Kailia Posey
Kailia Posey
| Credit: Instagram/@kailiaposey

"I don't have words or any thoughts," Gatterman wrote in the post. "A beautiful baby girl is gone. Please give us privacy as we mourn the loss of Kailia. My baby forever."

On May 3, Posey's family released a heartbreaking statement that was shared by TMZ, which highlighted the pageant winner's accomplishments throughout her life and the bright future she had ahead of her.

"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 said, according to the statement.

The statement continued, "She won countless crowns and trophies after competing on the pageant circuit her entire life… Her highly acclaimed talent as a contortionist had already led to professional touring job offers, and she had recently been selected to be a cheerleader at her high school next fall."

The TLC reality star was a trained contortionist. She first appeared in a 2012 Toddlers and Tiaras in the California Tropic Arizona pageant when she was five years old.

She continued to participate in pageants throughout her life and was set to compete in Miss Washington Teen USA, according to a post on her Instagram.

Her star rose even higher when she made an unforgettable facial expression during an interview on Toddlers and Tiaras that quickly became a viral meme and gif.

Friends and supporters are mourning her loss online through comments and tributes. Her mother and stepfather have also shared several tributes.

Actor Kadan Bart Rockett, a magician who took the 14th spot on Season 11 of America's Got Talent, posted several photos alongside Kailia when they were children as well as support for those who may be facing difficult times.

"You knew her from the TV show Toddlers & Tiaras, the Netflix movie, ELI, her viral video & GIF, as an incredible contortionist as well as Pageant Queen but to me, she was Kailia; my first 'girlfriend,' my first magicians assistant & my forever friend," he wrote on Instagram. "Her smile lit up every room she entered & her sweet spirit will live on forever in our hearts. I cannot begin to comprehend WHY. If only I could have talked to you one more time. If you or anyone your know is struggling, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. PLEASE reach out to family, friends or most any other human!"

At this time, a foundation in her name has been established through the Whatcom Community Foundation in Washington state to help students in crisis.

"Your gift to the Kailia Posey Teen Crisis Intervention Fund will help get much-needed resources to students in crisis. Thank you for honoring Kailia's short, beautiful life by helping other young people," a donation page reads.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to