“She was my best friend and (an) amazing daughter,” Melinda Moeller Coleman wrote. “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!”
The student, Matthew Barnett, was arrested and charged with sexual assault. The assault charge was dropped two months later as the Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney said there was insufficient evidence. Barnett’s attorney said that his client cooperated with authorities and argued the sex was consensual.
Afterward, Coleman’s mother said that the family received threats and that she was fired from her job as a veterinarian at a clinic.
In April 2013, their house in Maryville — which had been vacant and for sale — burned down. The state fire marshal said that “due to the unsafe nature of the structure, a detailed examination could not be conducted and this fire loss is being listed as undetermined.”
SafeBAE, an organization co-founded by Coleman with a mission of ending sexual assault among students, said they were shocked and saddened by the loss.
“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.”
To get help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). There is also a crisis text line. For crisis support in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454.