DAISY Coleman’s mother posted “you win, I’m dead” weeks before her own suicide as friends say she felt defeated by the town where her late daughter was allegedly raped.
The Sun has contacted local police for comment.
Just four months earlier, Daisy, 23, who starred in the 2016 Netflix documentary Audrie & Daisy, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at her Denver, Colorado home while on a FaceTime call to her boyfriend.
The film explored the fierce community backlash leveled at Daisy and her family after she alleged that she was raped aged 14 by high school football player Matthew Barnett in her hometown, Albany.
Barnett claimed that the sex was consensual and he was not ultimately charged with sexual assault.
He did, however, plead guilty to endangering the welfare of a child after he supplied Daisy with booze and left her in “sub-freezing” temperatures outside her house on the night of the alleged assault.
An additional charge against another boy who allegedly filmed a sexual encounter between Daisy and Barnett was also later dropped.
The tragedy divided the small town and many people who were critical of Daisy’s decision to come forward turned on the family and relentlessly bullied them online.
Some called them liars, while others spread vicious rumors, hurled insults, and tried to publicly humiliate the family.
Melinda previously claimed the family was driven out of Albany after Daisy came forward with the rape allegations and their home was burned down.
Daisy attempted suicide on multiple occasions prior to her death on August 4, leaving her loved ones shattered.
“Albany wins. I’m dead,” Melinda wrote in a Facebook post on November 18.
Melinda, who also lost her husband and one of her sons, Tristan Ash Coleman, in separate deadly car crashes decades apart, has been drowning in grief for years, according to friends.
Safebae cofounder Shael Norris told The Sun that “there was still a lot of animosity” from some people in the town who continued to “spread rumors” about the family to this day.
She said that “absolutely” contributed to her friend’s death.
“If you don’t have your community lifting you up and supporting you and helping you through hard times that compounds everything,” she continued.
“There were a lot of people angry with her and Daisy for bringing a negative spotlight on the town.
“People thought she lied and made things up.
“They had a very small town mentality about these things.
“Some people are just awful people.
“I think that’s when she just felt overcome by a lot of the (criticism)… it’s hard to face that.”
Norris, who worked closely with the family, told The Sun that Melinda was in a “severe depression about the loss of Daisy compounded with the loss of her husband and son”.
“She tried very hard to hang on for her other sons and in the end those demons were profound and very hard to navigate,” she said.
“I don’t think anyone involved could say this is a shock, as much as it is.
“She didn’t explicitly say she planned to kill herself, but she did indirectly, she would say: ‘I don’t know how to hang on’.”
Norris has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to support Melinda’s two surviving sons, Logan and Charlie.
In the days leading up to Melinda’s death, she shared old posts from Daisy’s account and wrote that she “just need(s) to cry for a while Missing my babies”.
Over the weekend, Melinda shared several photos and heartbreaking posts about losing Daisy, just hours before taking her own life.
“There aren’t enough I love yous I could have said when I was holding your cold, broken, dead body,” her last public Facebook post read on Sunday.
“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 day prior, Melinda noted that it had been exactly four months since Daisy had died.
“My baby girl left this world with a broken heart and spirit,” she wrote.
“Out of hope and full of despair. She took all her pain and worked to help others.
“Many used her and still are stealing her pictures and quotes simply for their own gain. The narcissists and users that have nothing to say so they steal her.
“The line became very blurred on some “friends”, others truly loved her. More than she could see in that terrible moment.
“All she could see was the continued harassment and cruelty and the damage sustained to her poor little body.
“I’d like to challenge everyone to be kind and lift up others in pain, especially sexual assault survivors and those hopeless in this holiday season.
“Send out light and love and protect each other and I will protect and pray for anyone who needs it.
“Let’s make this a Daisy Day filled with light, hope and love. Let’s work toward a justice system that stops failing the victims of rape. Let’s fill today with Daisy’s light and love!”
“I miss you extra lots today,” she wrote in another post with a picture of Daisy on December 1.
Another read: “God has given me every single thing I wished for and dreamed of. My soul mate and 4 beautiful children. It just never seemed long enough…..I wanted it forever!”
Melinda’s long-term friend Sindy Strader told The Sun: “The death of Daisy is what tipped her [over the edge].
“She had so many heartbreaks and bad hands dealt to her. She was trying to hang in there but she just couldn’t deal with it.”
“Why didn’t you call me? You promised me you wouldn’t do this, I will miss you so much my beautiful, sweet, heartbroken friend,” Strader wrote in a Facebook post after learning of her friend’s tragic death.
“I’m at such a loss for words right now. I can’t even imagine how she was feeling in her last minutes. It so breaks my heart. She was so loved but couldn’t feel or see it because she was so broken. She carried on as long as she could.”
In an online statement on Sunday, a SafeBae spokesperson said the organization was “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,” it read.
“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.”
It added: “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 4, Daisy’s body was discovered at an apartment in Lakewood, Colorado, after her mother requested police do a welfare check.
Yet, Daisy spoke with officers and crisis prevention paramedics for more than an hour – but never said or did anything indicating she wanted to harm herself, police said.
Because of this, Daisy could not be legally held for mental health problems and she was cleared by medics, according to TMZ.
However, hours later at 8.30pm, cops reportedly got a call from a female friend in the same apartment building saying that Daisy had shot herself.
Melinda later publicly confirmed her death.
Before her own death, Melinda told The Sun the family worked “so hard” to keep the Daisy alive.
Asked what is getting her through each day, Melinda said: “Each other. We worked so hard, so many years of counselling, we did everything we could to keep her alive.
“Looking back on it now, it is pretty overwhelming. If there is never going to be justice for young people like Daisy, this will always be the outcome.
“I just think even in death she’s making her mark, things need to change or this will continue to be the trend.”
Melinda said she felt her daughter’s suicide was a result of a “perfect storm” as she was dealing with a stalker and doctors had recently told her she couldn’t have children, likely a result of her sexual assault.
Melinda said the tattoo parlor Daisy worked at in Denver, Colorado, was broken into just days after her death, with thieves making off with her sketchbook and tattoo machine.
“We are missing a lot of her sketches, a report was filed but we haven’t heard anything else yet,” she said.
Melinda, a veterinary nurse, had a handwritten note from her daughter, ‘Love, Daisy’, inked on her wrist using some of her ashes.
Daisy’s brother Logan also has a tattoo in her honor while some of her ashes were buried after her funeral.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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