Kailia Posey, one of the most recognisable faces on the internet, died in Washington, according to her family. She was 16 years old.
Posey became famous after appearing in TLC‘s “Toddlers & Tiaras” at the age of 5. A GIF with her smiling face also became a worldwide phenomenon.
Her mother Marcy Posey Gatterman announced the sad news 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,” she said in the post.
Several publications like TMZ reported that Posey’s body was found at Birch Bay State Park in Washington state, just a few miles from the Canadian border, on Wednesday. TMZ further said in its report that Ms Posey took her own life.
“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,” her family said, according to TMZ.
Toddlers & Tiaras gave a behind-the-scenes look at the world of children’s pageants. Ms Posey appeared on the show twice.
In one of the episodes in 2012, Kailia, then 5, made a grinning face that went viral as a meme, making her a globally recognisable.
Ms Posey recently competed in the Miss Teen Washington pageant, according to a post on her Instagram handle. The website of the pageant said Ms Posey attended Lynden High School, and wanted to study aviation in college to become a commercial pilot.
She also made it to her school’s Dean’s List for having excellent grades.
Ms Posey’s Instagram handle is now flooded with messages from friends and fans, who are mourning her loss.