ALBANY, MO (KCTV) - Funeral services were held for Daisy Coleman this week in Albany, Missouri.
Daisy recently died by suicide. She was 23 years old. Family and friends remembered her as a survivor and warrior who endured too much in her life.
“She took those situations and learned to teach people to avoid those situations or to better themselves or protect people. Her number one thing was making everybody’s life better. She did it at her own expense. She paid the greatest price to teach everybody. And I think it’s something that ate at her a long time,” her brother Charlie Coleman said.
Daisy told her very personal story in the Netflix documentary “Audrie and Daisy”
Both Audrie Potts and Daisy accused older boys of sexual assault and became victims of cyber bullying. Audrie took her life within 8 days of her attack.
Daisy survived the initial wave of despair and depression. She died by suicide 7 years later.
Sexual assault and suicide risks
Survivors face a higher risk of suicide. It’s something Daisy herself gave talks about through her organization, Safe Bae.
The organization posted about Daisy’s death:
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 she would want that.
Daisy’s obituary pointed out Daisy gave talks on what often happens next to survivors.
They often battle drug addition, deal with PTSD, face harassment and survivors are more likely to commit suicide.
“Recovery for a survivor is never going to be easy. There’s no road map to it. There’s going to be dark days no matter what,” Charlie Coleman said.
Daisy was working on a new documentary called “Saving Daisy” at the time of her death.
The film explores new therapies Daisy was trying to help her cope with traumas she had endured in her life.
The documentary crew was present at her funeral to capture the heartbreaking reality of Daisy’s death.
Daisy’s own mother did not mince words when she recently posted the names of the high school seniors Daisy accused of sexual assault.
Daisy’s mother says several doctors in the emergency room made it clear her daughter had been gang raped back in 2013. Melinda Coleman believes all 4 boys participated.
Only Matthew Barnett faced charges. He told police the sex was consensual. The Nodaway County prosecutor eventually dropped the charges. Eventually, the case became national news.
A special prosecutor, Jean Peters Baker, took another look at the case and Barnett eventually pled guilty to child endangerment for leaving Daisy outside her house in front yard in the snow. He was never convicted of any sex crime and therefore is not on any registry.
Barnett now lives in Kansas City. KCTV5 reached out to him but he did not offer a comment on Daisy’s death.
The other Maryville high school seniors have moved on with their lives as well. Social media posts reveal smiling faces and job announcements.
News of Daisy’s death is crushing for many families who are familiar with Daisy’s story because they have lived through similar tragedies. They thought Daisy had been spared.
Grace McComas died by suicide in 2012. Her mother, Christine McComas, calls what her daughter, Audrie and Daisy all endured as “modern day stonings.”
She points out these young girls didn’t just step forward with credible allegations of sexual abuse- they were ridiculed and bullied for being survivors.
“It’s just pings and arrows coming at these kids. So, all of the people who took part in that bear some guilt for that. I believe,” Christine McComas said.
Daisy’s brother says her work with continue through the organization they co-founded.
“Tough times and pressure creates a diamond and Daisy was a diamond,” Charlie Coleman said, “She wouldn’t want us torn up. She would want us to learn.”