Daisy Coleman’s mother Melinda died in copycat suicide to her daughter

Sexual assault advocate Daisy Coleman’s mother Melinda took her own life by the same method as her daughter, it emerged on Monday, as social media posts showed her deeply traumatized state of mind.

Melinda Coleman, 58, died on Sunday at home in Missouri four months after Daisy, 23, killed herself, having learnt she could not have children.

Daisy became an inspiration and source of strength for many when she spoke candidly about being sexually assault at the age of 14 in the 2016 documentary Audrie & Daisy.

On Monday a close friend of Melinda revealed that she died in the same manner as her daughter.

Melinda (left), 58, died by suicide on Sunday - four months after Daisy, 23, took her own life

Melinda (left), 58, died by suicide on Sunday - four months after Daisy, 23, took her own life

Melinda (left), 58, died by suicide on Sunday – four months after Daisy, 23, took her own life

Melinda Coleman struggled to cope after the deaths of her husband, son and daughter

Melinda Coleman struggled to cope after the deaths of her husband, son and daughter

Melinda Coleman struggled to cope after the deaths of her husband, son and daughter

Melinda (right), killed herself in the same manner as Daisy, four months later

Melinda (right), killed herself in the same manner as Daisy, four months later

Melinda (right), killed herself in the same manner as Daisy, four months later 

Tami Piburn said that Melinda fatally shot herself at home.

What was the Netflix Audrie & Daisy documentary?

In 2016 a Netflix documentary was released which detailed the lives of two young women who had been sexually assaulted as teenagers. 

Both of the girls were subjected to abuse and cyberbullying as a result of their attacks.

Audrie Pott was 15 when she was assaulted at a party by three 16-year-old boys she knew on September 3, 2012 in Saratoga, California.

Naked pictures of the young girl were posted online and she suffered tremendous bullying. She killed herself nine days after the assault. 

At the age of 14, Daisy Coleman was raped by Matthew Barnett, who was 17 at the time. 

She had snuck out from a sleepover with her friend Paige Parkhurst, 13, and they went to visit Barnett and his friends in Maryville, Missouri. 

After they were plied with alcohol, Daisy was raped by Barnett and another raped her friend Paige. A third teenager was accused of filming Barnett’s assault on Daisy. 

The documentary followed Daisy around for two years, documenting the trauma of her ordeal and the hostility from their community. 

Barnett, the grandson of a former Republican state representative, was charged with felony assault but was convicted of endangerment of a minor and served four months in jail. 

Daisy was bullied at school after the details of her allegations became public. 

Documentary makers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk spoke with the Maryville sheriff Darren White, who said: ‘Girls have as much culpability as boys.’

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One of her two sons, Logan, 25, was in the house at the time.

‘She shot herself around 6pm in her home,’ Piburn told The Sun.

‘Logan was home when it happened, I’m so worried about him.

‘I’m shattered, I can’t seem to stop crying. I can’t even breathe.

‘I was talking to her on the phone yesterday [Saturday] and I told her I had something planned for her birthday on the 21st.

‘I don’t know what to do without my best friend. She has been really struggling.’

Just hours before her death, Melinda posted a series of posts and pictures of Daisy to her Facebook page.

‘There aren’t enough I love yous I could have said when I was holding your cold, broken , dead body,’ wrote Melinda.

‘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!’

One post was a message from Daisy’s late father to her. The letter described the joy Melinda and Michael Coleman experienced when Daisy was born.

‘We went to the hospital and found our Daisy,’ the note read. ‘When the doctor held you in the air, we were very proud parents. I was privileged to rock you to sleep every night for the first year of your life.’

She also posted a cryptic message that worried friends.

On November 18, she wrote: ‘Albany wins. I’m dead’ – an apparent reference to her Missouri hometown, where Daisy was shunned after her attack.

On November 20, she lamented that she had let her daughter down.

‘My heroic daughter who saved so many and suffered more than anyone ever should,’ she wrote. 

‘We failed her. She did great things for us and we failed her. Especially me.’

On December 1, she wrote: ‘Just need to cry for awhile. Missing my babies!’ 

Daisy fatally shot herself at her home in Colorado Springs, while on a FaceTime call with her on/off boyfriend.

She had attempted suicide multiple times before.

The tragic family’s saga began with the death of Melinda’s husband Michael in a car crash in 2009, when the car with Daisy, one of her brothers, and their father skidded on ice and went off a ravine.

Three years later, in January 2012, Daisy was raped at a house party, aged 14, by high school athlete Matthew Barnett.

He attacked her while a boy filmed the assault.

In 2016 Daisy’s story was made into a Netflix series, intertwining her tale with that of Audrie Pott who killed herself in 2012, eight days after she was sexually assaulted at a house party by three teenagers and footage of the attack appeared online.

Pott was 15 when she was assaulted at a party by three 16-year-old boys in Saratoga, California.

Daisy pictured shortly before her death. She had moved from Missouri to Colorado Springs

Daisy pictured shortly before her death. She had moved from Missouri to Colorado Springs

Daisy pictured shortly before her death. She had moved from Missouri to Colorado Springs

A timeline of the Coleman family tragedies

Before Melinda Coleman’s death, the family had faced immense tragedy over the years, beginning with the death of Melinda’s husband. 

2009: Michael Coleman, who was a physician, died while traveling in a car with Daisy Coleman and one of her brothers in 2009. They were on the way to see one of her other brothers in a wrestling competition when the car hit black ice and went into a ravine, killing Michael. 

2012: Daisy Coleman was 14 years old when she was raped in the early hours of January 9, 2012. Daisy’s rapist was not convicted.

2013: The Coleman family’s home burned down in a fire that her mother Melinda believed was deliberate.

2018:  Melinda’s son, Tristan Ash Coleman, died in a car accident at age 19 while he was helping his sister move to Colorado Springs when the incident happened in Oakley, Kansas.

August 2020: Daisy took her own life during a FaceTime call with her boyfriend. 

December 2020: Melinda Coleman took her own life after living for years with the grief of losing her husband, her son and more recently, Daisy.  

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Naked pictures of the young girl were posted online and she was intensely bullied.

In the film, Daisy described being plied with alcohol and raped at a house party hosted by the popular high school footballer, in her in Missouri home town.

The documentary followed Daisy around for two years, documenting the trauma of her ordeal and the hostility from their community.

The sheriff of their town of Maryville, Darren White, told the Netflix documentary makers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk: ‘Girls have as much culpability as boys.’

Barnett, son of a Republican state politician, denied raping Daisy and served four months in prison on the misdemeanor charge of child endangerment.

The family’s tragedy did not end there.

Their home burned down in a fire in 2013 and in 2018, Daisy’s brother, Tristan Ash Coleman, died in a car accident at age 19, while he was helping his sister move to Colorado Springs.

Daisy leveraged her experiences and fame to found SafeBae, a sexual assault prevention group.

On Monday SafeBae executive director Shael Norris said that Melinda spoke to students about sexual assault prevention via Zoom just days before she died.

‘So she jumped on the call and talked to all the kids, and the thing she texted me was how beautiful that was to just be able to see it herself,’ Norris said.

‘She just said thank you for giving me that, and I love you. And that was her last text,’ Norris added.

SafeBae announced the news of Melinda’s death on Sunday.

‘The bottomless grief of losing her husband, Tristan and Daisy was more than she could face most days,’ the organization said.

‘Melinda was 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 with Logan and Charlie. There are no words for our sadness, only that if you are struggling with trauma or depression, you are not alone.’

Several people who said they were friends of Melinda’s paid tribute to her on social media as ‘thoughtful, compassionate and sincere’.

One woman said that Melinda became a friend to her ‘in a way she knew I needed’ after their sons died around the same time.

Cindy Waitt, who produced the Audrie & Daisy documentary, wrote: ‘Melinda, I will never forget our first conversation when you and Daisy agreed to tell your story.

‘I told you at Sundance that your story would touch countless lives. And it did. Rest in Peace beautiful lady.’

 

For confidential support call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255. 

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details. 

SafeBae, a sexual assault prevention group, announced the death of Melinda on Sunday

SafeBae, a sexual assault prevention group, announced the death of Melinda on Sunday

SafeBae, a sexual assault prevention group, announced the death of Melinda on Sunday

Link hienalouca.com

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