Melinda also appeared in Audrie and Daisy, a documentary which followed the aftermath of the prolonged attack on Daisy that began when 17-year-old Matthew Barnett—the grandson of former Republican state representative Rex Barnett—allegedly raped the heavily intoxicated then-14-year-old while friends filmed the assault and then dumped her unconscious body on her lawn in freezing temperatures. As authorities failed to properly investigate the crime, or even acknowledge that a crime occurred, the town of Maryville, Missouri, turned on the Coleman family, and the Colemans’ home was burned down. In August, Daisy Coleman had filed a harassment complaint against a stalker (unconnected to the Maryville rape) in the hours before her suicide.
Additionally, Melinda Coleman’s son, Tristan, died in a car wreck in 2018, just as her husband did when Daisy was a child. She is survived by two sons, Logan and Charlie. In addition to being a veterinarian, Coleman also worked as an advocate for victims of sexual assault for SafeBAE, a sexual assault prevention group founded by Daisy:
“The bottomless grief of losing her husband, Tristan, and Daisy was more than she could face most days,” a statement from SafeBAE posted to Instagram read. “Melinda was a gifted veterinarian, devoted mother and wife, and talented body builder. More than anything, she loved and believed in her children.”