Model Niece Waidhofer has been found dead in her Houston home at the age of 31.
The Instagram influencer, who was known for openly telling followers of her mental health struggles, died by suicide, her family said.
“Sadly, Niece took her own life after a long battle with mental health issues,” Waidhofer’s family was quoted telling TMZ on Thursday.
“She was very open with her followers about her struggles, even wanting to help followers who also suffered,” her family said.
Police responding to a welfare check reportedly discovered the young model sometime last month. Her family is said to have grown concerned after she deleted nearly all photos and videos of herself on social media, a move that sparked rampant speculation among fans in late May that she may have died.
Waidhofer’s family says they now plan to set up a nonprofit in her honor to spread awareness about mental health.
Although she never shied away from telling her 4.2 million Instagram followers of her struggles, her loved ones made clear they wanted her to be remembered for more than that.
“Niece was more than her struggles. She was beautiful and kind, sensitive and funny, creative and talented, generous and compassionate, thoughtful and challenging,” the family said in their statement, adding that she is now “free to be herself.”
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.