SafeBae chief says Melinda Coleman spoke to students about sexual assault prevention before death

Daisy Coleman’s mother, Melinda Coleman, spoke to students during a Zoom meeting run by the sexual assault prevention group created by her daughter just days before the mother-of-four took her own life. 

Melinda, 58, died on Sunday evening, just four months after the death of her 23-year-old daughter Daisy who spoke candidly about her sexual assault at the age of 14 in the 2016 documentary Audrie & Daisy. 

Shortly after news of her death broke, Shael Norris, SafeBae’s executive director, revealed to the Kansas City Star that she asked Melinda to speak to students during a Zoom meeting run by SafeBae. 

‘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. 

Several people who identified themselves as Melinda’s friends took to social media to remember her for being ‘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. 

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Daisy Coleman's (right) mother, Melinda Coleman (left), spoke to students during a Zoom meeting run by the sexual assault prevention group created by her daughter just days before the mother-of-four took her own life

Daisy Coleman's (right) mother, Melinda Coleman (left), spoke to students during a Zoom meeting run by the sexual assault prevention group created by her daughter just days before the mother-of-four took her own life

Daisy Coleman’s (right) mother, Melinda Coleman (left), spoke to students during a Zoom meeting run by the sexual assault prevention group created by her daughter just days before the mother-of-four took her own life 

After news of her death broke, Shael Norris, SafeBae's executive director, revealed that she asked Melinda to speak to students during a Zoom meeting run by the group. 'So she jumped on the call and talked to all the kids, and the thing she texted me was how beautiful that was'

After news of her death broke, Shael Norris, SafeBae's executive director, revealed that she asked Melinda to speak to students during a Zoom meeting run by the group. 'So she jumped on the call and talked to all the kids, and the thing she texted me was how beautiful that was'

After news of her death broke, Shael Norris, SafeBae’s executive director, revealed that she asked Melinda to speak to students during a Zoom meeting run by the group. ‘So she jumped on the call and talked to all the kids, and the thing she texted me was how beautiful that was’

‘I’ll miss her friendship and her kind, comforting words of encouragement,’ the post reads.

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.’

Another person wrote: ‘RIP Melinda Coleman. This is just unreal. I spoke with you the other day. I hope you have finally found your peace. So much pain and suffering. This family has been through to much. Prayers for Charlie and Logan.’

Others called her death ‘devastating’ and asked the public to keep the family in their prayers. 

Daisy fatally shot herself in Colorado Springs while on a call to her boyfriend, years after she described in the Netflix documentary how she was raped at a house party by high school athlete Matthew Barnett while a boy filmed the assault. 

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

Tributes poured in for Melinda shortly after news of her death broke. Several people who identified themselves as Melinda's friends took to social media to remember her for being 'thoughtful, compassionate and sincere'

Tributes poured in for Melinda shortly after news of her death broke. Several people who identified themselves as Melinda's friends took to social media to remember her for being 'thoughtful, compassionate and sincere'

Tributes poured in for Melinda shortly after news of her death broke. Several people who identified themselves as Melinda’s friends took to social media to remember her for being ‘thoughtful, compassionate and sincere’

 

 

Melinda's death caught the attention of Amanda Know who said she never met Melinda, 'but I understood her to be a fierce advocate for her daughter, Daisy'

Melinda's death caught the attention of Amanda Know who said she never met Melinda, 'but I understood her to be a fierce advocate for her daughter, Daisy'

Melinda’s death caught the attention of Amanda Know who said she never met Melinda, ‘but I understood her to be a fierce advocate for her daughter, Daisy’

Shortly after Daisy’s death, Melinda revealed how her daughter killed herself on learning she couldn’t have children and that it was likely she couldn’t conceive because of the rape she suffered as a teenager. 

The Netflix show also focused on the story of Audrie Potts 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.

In the film, Daisy described being plied with alcohol in 2012 and raped at a house party hosted by the popular high school footballer in her in Missouri home town. 

She went on to found SafeBae, a sexual assault prevention group that announced Melinda’s death on their Instagram page, where condolences quickly began to appear. 

The tragedies surrounding the Coleman family began years earlier when Daisy’s father died in a car accident – a few years before Daisy’s assault.   

Melinda Coleman (right), killed herself on Sunday four months after her daughter Daisy's  (right) suicide

Melinda Coleman (right), killed herself on Sunday four months after her daughter Daisy's  (right) suicide

Melinda Coleman (right), killed herself on Sunday four months after her daughter Daisy’s  (right) suicide

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

Daisy alleged she was raped by Matthew Barnett, pictured. The son of a Republican state politician, denied raping Daisy and served four months in prison on misdemeanor charges

Daisy alleged she was raped by Matthew Barnett, pictured. The son of a Republican state politician, denied raping Daisy and served four months in prison on misdemeanor charges

Daisy alleged she was raped by Matthew Barnett, pictured. The son of a Republican state politician, denied raping Daisy and served four months in prison on misdemeanor charges

What was the Netflix Audrie & Daisy documentary?

In 2016  a Netflix documentary was released which detailed the outcomes 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 them with alcohol, Barnett raped Daisy and another raped her friend. 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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The family’s home burned down in a fire in 2013 and in 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. 

Announcing the mother’s death, SafeBAE posted: ‘We are in shock and disbelief to share with our SafeBAE family, that we lost Melinda Coleman to suicide this evening.

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

‘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.’ 

On August 5, 23-year-old Daisy after being plagued with mental health issues and having already made several attempts to take her own life. 

Daisy’s body was discovered by authorities after her mother, Melinda, asked them to perform a welfare check. 

Daisy died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while talking to her boyfriend on FaceTime. Melinda later confirmed her daughter’s death on social media.  

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 appeared to be a ‘time capsule’ message from Daisy’s 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 heart-breaking 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.’ 

Melinda is survived by her two sons, Logan and Charlie.

After Daisy’s death Melinda had said: ‘It was two weeks ago, it feels like it’s been a really long time, and like it’s been no time at all, if that makes sense,

‘She was my best friend, and she would say the same, we talked every day. We were really close.

‘I really thought we were past this [her feeling suicidal], in my heart, but then she got hit with a lot of stuff recently.

‘She just found out weeks before that she couldn’t have children. She was very upset about that.’

The tragedies surrounding the Coleman family began years ago when Daisy’s father died in a car accident. 

A few years later, Daisy was raped at 14 years old. Much of what happened on the night of January 8, 2012 is undisputed.

At around 1am Daisy and Paige were having a sleepover at Daisy’s house when they decided to sneak out – at the invitation of Matthew Barnett, now 22. His friends Jordan Zech, 24, Nick Groumoutis, 23 and Cole Forney, 22, were also present.

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

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

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

Pictured: Tristan Ash Coleman, Melinda Coleman and Daisy Coleman at the grave of Michael Coleman in March 2018. Tristan died in a car crash later that year, Daisy committed suicide in August and Melinda killed herself on Sunday. Father Michael also died in a car accident when Daisy was a young girl

Pictured: Tristan Ash Coleman, Melinda Coleman and Daisy Coleman at the grave of Michael Coleman in March 2018. Tristan died in a car crash later that year, Daisy committed suicide in August and Melinda killed herself on Sunday. Father Michael also died in a car accident when Daisy was a young girl

Pictured: Tristan Ash Coleman, Melinda Coleman and Daisy Coleman at the grave of Michael Coleman in March 2018. Tristan died in a car crash later that year, Daisy committed suicide in August and Melinda killed herself on Sunday. Father Michael also died in a car accident when Daisy was a young girl

A timeline of the Coleman family tragedies

Before Melinda Coleman’s death, the family had faces 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 brother’s 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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Daisy’s brother, Charlie, 23, regarded Groumoutis as his best friend but was wary of Barnett. He told her not to text him but she ignored him.

Almost immediately the girls were separated. Matthew Barnett admitted having sex with Daisy – 14 is the age of consent in the state of Missouri – but said it was consensual and that Daisy did not drink heavily until afterwards.

Daisy recalled being offered a drink from what the boys called the ‘bitch cup’ – a tall shot glass – then being offered a second and not remembering anything after that.

He used Nick Groumoutis’s cell phone to record but claimed he thought they were just ‘dry humping.’ The video was deleted – after reportedly being passed around the school – but never retrieved by law enforcement.

Paige’s rapist confessed and was convicted in juvenile court, but it was only after a second investigation that Daisy’s alleged rapist Barnett was convicted in adult court on the lesser charge of child endangerment.

After the Netflix documentary aired she said she found it hard to listen to then Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White’s clear belief that Daisy and her friend Paige – who was raped on the same night – were somehow as culpable as the boys. He also slipped a note to the camera that ‘teenage girls lie.’

Coleman had tried to kill herself at least four times in the past.

She suffered victim blaming from the community. T-shirts worn by people in her dance class read: ‘ ‘Matt 1: Daisy 0.’

Social media exploded with hateful hashtags, branding Daisy a ‘skank’ a ‘whore’ and a ‘liar.’

Coleman ended up self-harming and carved the name of the alleged rapist into her skin.

In 2013 their house was burned down in a fire that her mother Melinda believed was deliberate. 

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

In her tribute following Daisy’s death, Melinda wrote: ‘I know you only stayed here for me after Tristan died. I know your soul weep to leave. I begged you to stay with me. I understand that you stayed as long as you could.’

Melinda, who called Daisy her ‘best friend,’ revealed that her daughter’s death came after she discovered she would never be able to conceive. 

On the day she died, Melinda Coleman shared a series of posts about Daisy and shared heartbreaking messages

On the day she died, Melinda Coleman shared a series of posts about Daisy and shared heartbreaking messages

On the day she died, Melinda Coleman shared a series of posts about Daisy and shared heartbreaking messages 

Daisy had been a vocal advocate for rape survivors and continued to campaign for them

Daisy had been a vocal advocate for rape survivors and continued to campaign for them

Daisy had been a vocal advocate for rape survivors and continued to campaign for them

One Facebook post from Melinda Coleman appeared to be a 'time capsule' message from Daisy's father to the daughter

One Facebook post from Melinda Coleman appeared to be a 'time capsule' message from Daisy's father to the daughter

One Facebook post from Melinda Coleman appeared to be a ‘time capsule’ message from Daisy’s father to the daughter

Picture shows Daisy Coleman, left, age 14, and Paige, right, age 13 shortly before they were both raped in the early hours of January 9, 2012. Daisy's rapist was not convicted

Picture shows Daisy Coleman, left, age 14, and Paige, right, age 13 shortly before they were both raped in the early hours of January 9, 2012. Daisy's rapist was not convicted

Picture shows Daisy Coleman, left, age 14, and Paige, right, age 13 shortly before they were both raped in the early hours of January 9, 2012. Daisy’s rapist was not convicted

Pictured: Daisy Coleman and her brother, Tristan Ash Coleman

Pictured: Daisy Coleman and her brother, Tristan Ash Coleman

Pictured: Daisy Coleman and her brother, Tristan Ash Coleman

She also claims her daughter had a stalker who had been harassing her by text since December and who Daisy had filed a police report about just hours before she died.

‘It was two weeks ago, it feels like it’s been a really long time, and like it’s been no time at all, if that makes sense,’ Melinda told The Sun.

‘She was my best friend, and she would say the same, we talked every day. We were really close.

‘I really thought we were past this [her feeling suicidal], in my heart, but then she got hit with a lot of stuff recently.

‘She just found out weeks before that she couldn’t have children. She was very upset about that.’

She said doctors placed the blame on her ‘brutal’ rape when she was a 14-year-old.

‘That just shows how brutal it was, and they were trying to say it was consensual, that’s what really gets me.’ 

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. 

Link hienalouca.com

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