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Kailia Posey death: Toddlers & Tiaras star dead at 16

Kailia Posey
Kailia Posey’s mother announced her death on social media. Pic credit: Kailia Posey/Facebook/TLC/YouTube

Reality TV star and beauty pageant contestant Kailia Posey has died at age 16.

Posey was best known for appearing on TLC’s Toddlers & Tiaras, which aired from 2009 to 2013 before returning in 2016.  

The beauty pageant contestant was five years old when she appeared on the reality series, which saw her compete in the California Tropic Arizona pageant.

Kailia began training as a contortionist when she was three months old by her mother.

She became one of the series’ most recognizable faces after becoming a popular meme.

What was Kailia Posey’s cause of death?

Posey’s mother, Marcy Posey Gatterman, confirmed the news of her death on Facebook.

Gatterman shared a photo of Posey dressed in a gown she wore to prom last month, writing the following

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

Gatterman has not confirmed the cause of Posey’s death, but she has since updated her profile photo to Kailia with angel wings and a cover image to honor her late daughter with a photo of the pair.

There have been reports that she died in a car accident; however, this is yet to be confirmed.

Gatterman did not share her daughter’s cause of death. A Whatcom County Medical Examiner rep told PageSix the office is investigating.

Posey turned 16 last month, and Gatterman recently shared photos of her daughter attending prom with her friends just days before her death.

Kailia Posey was the ‘grinning girl’ meme star

The late high schooler was known as the ‘grinning girl’ in a popular GIF after a still from an interview she appeared in as a child went viral.

“When Kailia was younger, when she was 3, she started doing pageants,” Marcy said in a clip from the show, continuing: “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. She’s gonna beat you, every time.”

Posey continued competing in beauty pageantry and was recently selected as a cheerleader in her high school.

Her Miss Washington contestant profile says Kailia performed contortion with Cirque du Soleil, and played Agnes in the Netflix movie Eli in 2018.

She was a freshman at Lynden High School and planned to study aviation in college to become a commercial pilot.

She was named to the Dean’s List for the 2020/2021 school year, and numerous tributes have poured in to celebrate her life.

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