Melinda Coleman Dies By Suicide Months After Daughter Daisy's Death
By Paige Gawley
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Melinda Coleman, the mother of late sexual assault survivor and advocate Daisy Coleman, died by suicide on Sunday. The tragic news comes four months after Daisy, who appeared in the 2016 Netflix documentary Audrie & Daisy,died by suicide at age 23.
SafeBAE, the sexual assault prevention organization Daisy co-founded prior to her death, shared the news of Melinda's passing on Instagram.
"We are in shock and disbelief to share with our SafeBAE family, that we lost Melinda Coleman to suicide this evening," the organization wrote on Sunday. "The bottomless grief of losing her husband, [her son,] Tristan, and Daisy was more than she could face most days."
The post went on to remember Melinda as a "gifted veterinarian, devoted mother and wife, and talented body builder."
"More than anything, she loved and believed in her children. It is no accident that she created some of the most gifted, passionate, and resilient children. Our hearts are forever with Logan & Charlie," the post concluded of Melinda's sons.
On Sunday, before Melinda's death, the grieving mom posted about Daisy on Facebook.
"There aren’t enough I love yous I could have said when I was holding your cold, broken, dead body," Melinda wrote alongside photos of Daisy. "I held you like a baby anyway, my baby. The baby I held when you first came into this world. It has always been my greatest honor and joy to be your mother and best friend. Mama bear!"
Daisy was 14 years old when she alleged in 2012 that she was sexually assaulted at a house party in Missouri after drinking alcohol. Her accusation led to a felony sexual assault charge against teenager Matthew Barnett, which was later dropped, though he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. He claimed their sexual encounter was consensual. The Netflix documentary focused on the backlash Daisy and her family faced in her small town and the cyberbullying she received amid the case.
"She was my best friend and amazing daughter," Melinda wrote in part. "I think she had to 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."
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).