Daffodil Festival Princess Alexandria Tyler Cole from Chief Leschi High School has died, according to a statement from the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and an article in The News Tribune.
Cole's death is "under investigation as an apparent suicide" and is being investigated by tribal police, the FBI and Pierce County Medical Examiner. The FBI is involved because her death was on tribal property. She was a member of the Quinault Nation.
Today's royal court appearances were cancelled but the Daffodil Parade is to go on as scheduled this Saturday in Tacoma, Puyallup Sumner and Orting. Festival organizers plan to place a photo of Cole on her seat on the Queen's Float.
By late afternoon, the Daffodil Festival had released a photo of Cole in her dress with the words "Once a Princess, always a Princess" next to it.
"She had a heart for community service and loved each opportunity to spend with children," the accompanying statement said.
Many of Cole's fellow Daffodil Princesses took to Facebook to eulogize their friend, a volleyball player who planned to study nursing at Washington State University.
"Today I lost a sister," wrote Cinthia Vazquez of Clover Park. "RIP Alex."
Bonney Lake's princess, Angela Crone, left a comment under the photo: "♥ always in our hearts."
And Morgan Butler-Koler of Orting added, "Rest in Peace Baby Girl."
Here is the full statement that the Daffodil Festival posted on its website:
The Daffodil Festival had a loss to our family today, April 11, 2012. Princess Alexandria Cole passed away Wednesday morning. Alexandria was selected as the Chief Leschi Princess representative to the Daffodil Festival in October of 2011. She always greeted people with a contagious smile and her warm personality.
Alexandria quickly bonded with the other 23 Daffodil Princesses and formed lasting relationships that all Daffodil Festival Princesses enjoy each year. She enjoyed spending time with children at the libraries, Boys & Girls Clubs and at elementary schools. She had a heart for community service and loved each opportunity to spend with children.
Alexandria had plans to attend Washington State University and become a registered nurse.
The Daffodil Festival and Royalty have heavy hearts as the loss of Alexandria leaves an empty void. The Grand Florale Parade will continue on Saturday. The Daffodil Festival will honor Alexandria by placing her photo on her seat on the Queen's Float. Although the Royalty will still wave and smile to the crowd, they will still be hurting whenever they see her empty seat.