Following the untimely passing of Daisy Coleman, police have confirmed how she died.
The 23-year-old advocate, whose own story of surviving sexual assault was a subject of the 2016 documentary Audrie & Daisy, committed suicide on Aug. 4, her mother Melinda Coleman confirmed on social media.
The Lakewood Police Department in Colorado confirmed to E! News Coleman died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to the authorities, police trained in crisis intervention went to Coleman's home with members of the fire department five hours before her death. There, they spoke to her for more than an hour, per police, and felt a medical hold was not needed because Coleman never indicated she was suicidal or threatened suicide.
Her mom said she called the police to check on her daughter. "If you saw crazy / messages and posts it was because I called the police to check on her," Melinda explained on Facebook.
Speaking of her beloved child, Melinda continued, "She was my best friend and amazing daughter. I think she had to make make [sic] 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."
The documentary focused on two cases of teenage sexual assault, including Coleman's, as well as the role social media played in their experiences and the backlash they faced in their communities.
Daisy was 14 years old at the time she was allegedly raped by then-17-year-old Matthew Barnett in her Missouri hometown. Two years later, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor child endangerment charge as part of a plea deal and was sentenced to two years of probation and a four-month suspended jail term, according to CBS News. He maintained that they consensually had sex.
Following her death, SafeBAE—the peer-to-peer organization she co-founded that is aimed at ending sexual assault among students—paid tribute to Daisy in a public statement.
"As all of our supporters know, Daisy has fought for many years to both heal from her assault and prevent future sexual violence among teens. She was our sister in this work and much of the driving force behind it," the organization's statement read. "We were not just a non-profit team, but a family. We are shattered and shocked by her passing from suicide. She had been in EMDR therapy for 2 years, working on her triggers and healing from the many traumas in her life. She had many coping demons and had been facing and overcoming them all, but as many of you know, healing is not a straight path or any easy one. She fought longer and harder than we will ever know."
The organization also addressed survivors and assured them of how much Daisy cared about and was supported by them.
"We want to be mindful of all the young survivors who looked up to her. Please know that above ALL ELSE, she did this work for you," the statement continued. "She loved talking to young people about changing the culture and taking care of one another. Much of her healing came from each of you. She was so proud of the work we've done and loved seeing so many fierce young activists push for change in their schools and among their friends."
"She would want young survivors to know they are heard, they matter, they are loved, and there are places for them to get the help they need," the statement concluded. "And she would want everyone else—peer allies, educators, parents, legislators, religious leaders—to come together to help stop sexual violence and help save teen lives. As advocates we know survivors of sexual assault are 10 times more likely to attempt suicide than those who haven't experienced sexual assault, and that is why we will keep dedicating ourselves to this work in her legacy. There's no question that is what she would want."