After losing her husband and son in separate car crashes, the mother of rape victim Daisy Coleman who committed suicide four months ago has killed herself.
Melinda Coleman was overwhelmed by grief. Her husband Dr. Michael Coleman, 48, was killed in a car crash in 2007. Her son Tristan also died in a car crash in 2018 at the age of 19. Her daughter Daisy, a rape victim at 14, shot herself in August. She was 23.
Losing Daisy was one death too many. Melinda committed suicide on Sunday. She was 58.
Just hours earlier, she posted on social media photos and heartbreaking posts about losing her daughter.
“There aren’t enough I love you’s I could have said when I was holding your cold, broken, dead body,” her last public post read.
Daisy Coleman was just 14 years old when she was raped at a party in Maryville, Missouri, in January of 2012. She was harassed online and bullied at school about the rape. She was called a slut and a liar.
She lived with the memory and the shame for seven years but couldn’t take it any longer.
“She was my best friend and amazing daughter,” Melinda said after Daisy died. “I think she had to make 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.”
Daisy and another young rape victim, Audrie Pott, were the subject of a Netflix documentary about their separate rapes in different cities.
Audrie was raped by three 16-year-old boys in Saratoga, California, in 2012. Nude pictures of her were then posted online, accompanied by cruel bullying.
Audrie committed suicide just 10 days after being raped. She was 15 years old.
Three teenage boys admitted to sexually assaulting Audrie and publishing the nude photos, both felonies. Two of the three boys received 30-day sentences to be served on weekends. The other was sentenced to 45 days.
In the Daisy Coleman case, 17-year-old Matthew Barnett, was arrested for rape. But the county prosecutor dropped felony and misdemeanor charges against Barnett, the grandson of an influential state representative.
After an uproar in the community, a special prosecutor was appointed. Barnett pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of endangering the welfare of a child and was given a suspended sentence of four months jail.