Last August, Daisy Coleman, 23, the rape survivor featured in the Netflix documentary Audrie & Daisy, was found dead by suicide in her home. In a devastating twist, nearly four months later, Daisy’s mother, Melinda — who initially posted about her daughter’s passing on Facebook — was also found dead by suicide at home.
News of the 58-year-old woman’s death was posted on the Instagram page for SafeBAE, a sexual assault prevention organization founded by Daisy. “We are in shock and disbelief to share with our SafeBAE family, that we lost Melinda Coleman to suicide,” the Instagram post said.
It went on to say that the deaths of Daisy, Melinda’s husband, and Daisy’s brother Tristan, who died in a car accident in 2018, were simply too much for Melinda to bear. The post describes Melinda as “a gifted veterinarian, devoted mother and wife, and talented body builder” who ”loved and believed in her children.”
Daisy Coleman was the subject of 2016’s Netflix documentary Audrie and Daisy, which told the story of her struggle as a sexual-assault survivor in her hometown of Maryville, Missouri. Coleman alleged that in 2012, she was raped at a party by Matthew Barnett, the grandson of a prominent local politician, and that the assault was recorded by someone else on their phone; she also alleged that she faced harassment in her town after coming forward about the alleged assault. Barnett was arrested and charged with felony sexual assault, which was later dropped. He was sentenced to four months in jail, which was commuted to two years probation and a $1,800 restitution fine to be paid to Coleman.
In the hours before her death, Melinda took to Facebook to post about Daisy’s passing. “There aren’t enough I love yous I could have said when I was holding your cold, broken, dead body,” Melinda wrote. “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!”
Melinda is survived by two children, her sons Logan and Charlie.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).