‘Toddlers & Tiaras’ star Kailia Posey was ‘struggling’ before suicide

Kailia Posey died by suicide on Sunday, her family announced on Monday. (Courtesy photos)

MIAMI – Kailia Posey, a 16-year-old former “Toddlers & Tiaras” star, was “struggling” before she died by suicide on Sunday in Washington.

Posey, who was best known as the subject of the “Grinning Girl” GIF, had been recently named the second runner-up of the Miss Washington Teen USA, according to her family’s statement.

“We knew she was struggling with a few things, and we all did everything we could to encourage her and help,” Posey’s friend told Page Six. “We didn’t know what was going on.”

Posey’s mom, Marcy Posey Gatterman, announced her death on Monday. Her family set up the Kailia Posey Teen Crisis Intervention Fund to help students in crisis.

“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,” her mother wrote on Facebook.

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The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.