DANBURY — Hailey Nailor, a 16-year-old junior at Danbury High School, fell to her death from the top of a parking garage at Danbury Fair Mall on Saturday afternoon.
The teen was alone at the time and the fall was intentional, according to police. She posted a disturbing video to Snapchat prior to dying, according to her friends and classmates.
Deanna Mudgett, mother to a 2017 graduate of Danbury High School, saw the video. “It was definitely a cry for help,” said Mudgett. “It was desperation, and as a mom, it’s hard to see that.”
Her death was a shock to the community. “It’s horrible,” said Carol Mazzone, a mother and grandmother from Bethel. “I feel very bad for the family.”
Marie said she met Hailey at a residential mental health rehabilitation center over the summer, and the two quickly became close friends. “She just had this really likable quality to her,” said Marie. “She made everyone around her feel really comfortable.”
Marie said the two girls talked about mental health frequently. “Whenever she was upset, she was open about it with me,” she said.
After Hailey’s death, another teen posted mean comments about her and that post went viral on social media, sparking questions about whether bullying may have played a role. But Marie is one of many people who said it was not just bullying that led to her death.
“I wanted people to know the truth, that there was more than one thing,” said Marie. “And bullying was definitely not the main thing.”
Another friend of Hailey’s, Lindsey, reached out to FOX61 with a statement about her beloved and late friend.
“Hailey was and still is my best friend. Although she is gone, she will forever be in my heart. Hailey meant the world to me. Every time we would hang out or talk on the phone, there was never a dull moment. She would call me on FaceTime just to tell me about something her dog did or if she just wanted me to come over. And I did exactly what she said, I drove right over to hang out with her. Hanging out with her was the best because we could be just listening to music and all of a sudden hear our favorite song and look at each other and start singing it. We would show each other funny videos we found on social media and laugh to the point where we would start tearing up. Our friendship was everything. I called her home my second home; I called her family my second family. They welcomed me in. ... When I went to her house I would walk down the walkway and she would be already standing at the door waiting for me to walk around the corner, all happy with a big smile on her face, jumping up and down. When I would leave, she would walk me down and give me a big hug. Hailey had a big heart and I loved her so much. I’m going to miss that welcoming smile when I walk in the door, the laughs and jokes, the singing, and most importantly, the big goodbye hug — one that I wish I had before she left forever. The last thing she said was ‘I love you Lindsey,’ and I texted back, ‘I love u too,’ but I never got a response. Although she may be gone, I know she is looking over me, making sure I’m okay. I miss and love her so much.”
Danbury school officials are looking into those comments made on social media and they are providing mental health counselors for students.