Daisy Coleman, the woman whose sexual assault case as a teen in Missouri captured national attention, has died by suicide, her mom says.
Melinda Coleman posted on Facebook that her daughter was found dead after she asked police officers to check on Coleman’s well-being Tuesday night.
“She was my best friend and amazing daughter,” Coleman posted on Facebook. I think she had to make make it seem like I could live without her. I can’t. I wish I could have taken the pain from her! She never recovered from what those boys did to her and it’s just not fair. My baby girl is gone.”
The Kansas City Star investigated Coleman’s sexual assault case in a series of stories about felony charges against boys accused of sexually assaulting her and a friend during a January 2012 party in Maryville, a northwest Missouri city. The charges were initially dropped, despite the sheriff saying he was confident the investigators built case would “absolutely” result in prosecutions.
In 2018, 19-year-old Matthew Barnett pleaded guilty to child endangerment in the case, but he was not charged with sexual assault, The Kansas City Star reported.
Her case grabbed nationwide interest in the following years, including the Netflix documentary “Audrie and Daisy” in 2016.
In 2014, Coleman attempted suicide as a 16-year-old, but she survived, The Kansas City Star reported.
After the Netflix documentary, Daisy Coleman helped create SafeBAE, an organization to end sexual assault at schools. SafeBAE released a statement about Coleman’s suicide on Facebook, saying it’s “shattered and shocked” by her death.
“She had many coping demons and had been facing and overcoming them all, but as many of you know, healing is not a straight path or any easy one. She fought longer and harder than we will ever know,” the statement says. “But we want to be mindful of all the young survivors who looked up to her. Please know that above ALL ELSE, she did this work for you.”
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or (800) SUICIDE.