The death of 14-year-old influencer and rapper Lil Tay has been shrouded in even more mystery after a social media star claiming to be one of her ‘closest friends’ seemingly confirmed her passing – despite the teen’s own father admitting that he does not know if his own daughter is alive.
The news of the Lil Tay’s ‘sudden and tragic’ passing was first revealed on Wednesday when someone posted a statement on the influencer’s verified Instagram account.
However, the teenager’s former manager questioned the ‘legitimacy’ of the post – which did not reveal a cause of death – and cops in both Vancouver, Lil Tay’s place of birth, and Los Angeles, where she had been living with her mother, told DailyMail.com they had no record of her death.
But now, popular Instagrammer Dynasty Jenkins has posted a tribute to Lil Tay – whose real name is Claire Hope – and claimed: ‘I lost one of my closest friends.’
Dynasty shared two photos of them together on what appeared to be a rooftop, but it’s unclear when the pictures were actually taken.
Sad story: Popular Instagrammer Dynasty Jenkins has posted a tribute to her friend Lil Tay following her ‘death’
Paying tribute: Dynasty, 26, seemingly confirmed the death of the 14-year-old social media star in her post
Social star: It was reported on August 9 that Lil Tay had died and her death was ‘under investigation’
In the snaps, Lil Tay was dressed in a colorful printed jacket and pale blue denim shorts as Dynasty placed her arm around her and posed for the camera.
Many people were quick to comment on the post and pointed out that Lil Tay did not look happy as she failed to smile for the photos.
‘You can see here she’s clearly not happy,’ one person claimed, while another said: ‘she look so sad bruh.’
Others were keen to send their condolences to Dynasty as someone wrote: ‘I’m sorry for your loss,’ and another commented: ‘I’m so sorry, my heart is with you.’
Dynasty also posted a video of them, recorded on the same day, which showed them dancing alongside each other and she captioned it with a broken heart emoji.
When approached by DailyMail.com, Lil Tay’s father Christopher Hope declined to comment when asked about the death of his daughter, stating that he is unable to confirm or deny reports until he has verified them himself.
Local authorities in Vancouver, where he lives, and Los Angeles, where Lil Tay had been living with her mother, had no record of any investigation into the deaths of Claire or her brother Jason when contacted by DailyMail.com.
An officer with the LAPD noted that the lack of records relating to Lil Tay and her brother suggest that ‘they are not, in fact, dead or that [their deaths] did not occur in LA’.
‘We have no information on either of these two individuals Claire Hope or Jason Tian being killed or dying in Los Angeles,’ he stated.
‘If the LA county medical examiners has nothing on either of them either, that would lead me to believe they are not, in fact, dead, or that it did not occur in LA.’
Lil Tay’s former manager Harry Tsang added further confusion when he released a cryptic statement about the news, refusing to ‘confirm’ that the rapper had in fact died.
Just a teen: Lil Tay found fame on the internet posting videos of herself flashing cash and cursing
Shocking statement: The news of her passing was announced by someone in a post shared on Lil Tay’s Instagram account
Sad news: The statement also revealed that Lil Tay’s 21-year-old brother, Jason Tian, had also died
Big interview: Lil Tay pictured during an appearance on Good Morning America alongside her mother Angela Tian in 2018
In an email to DailyMail.com, Tsang said that he had ‘been in communication with individuals who have an intimate understanding of the family’s situation’ but that he was still unable to ‘definitively confirm or dismiss’ the news that Lil Tay and her brother had passed.
‘Given the complexities of the current circumstances, I am at a point where I cannot definitively confirm or dismiss the legitimacy of the statement issued by the family,’ he said.
‘This situation calls for cautious consideration and respect for the sensitivities involved.’
The full statement posted on Lil Ta’s Instagram account began: ‘It is with a heavy heart that we share the devastating news of our beloved Claire’s sudden and tragic passing.
‘We have no words to express the unbearable loss and indescribable pain.
‘This outcome was entirely unexpected, and has left us all in shock. Her brother’s passing adds an even more unimaginable depth to our grief.’
The statement went on to reveal that both Tay and her brother Jason’s deaths are ‘still under investigation.’
‘During this time of immense sorrow, we kindly ask for privacy as we grieve this overwhelming loss, as the circumstances surrounding Claire and her brother’s passing are still under investigation,’ it continued.
Staying silent: Lil Tay’s father, Christopher Hope, (pictured together previously) declined to comment when contacted by DailyMail.com
‘Claire will forever remain in our hearts, her absence leaving an irreplaceable void that will be felt by all who knew and loved her.’
After hearing the news on Wednesday, many people pointed out that the bio on Lil Tay’s Instagram page read: ‘Help me,’ but it’s unsure when it was changed.
Lil Tay’s brother Jason had previously set up a GoFundMe page in a bid to raise $19,000 for her after levelling allegations of physical and mental abuse against her father and his wife, Hanee.
Attempting to explain Lil Tay’s absence online, Jason, who is not Hope’s son, wrote: ‘My sister Tay has been silent on social media for the past three years because her absentee father (Chris Hope) served my mother a court order demanding control over Tay’s money, career, and custody, and as a result it was court ordered that my sister had to return to Vancouver, Canada.
‘He also requested through a court order to prevent her from speaking out about the truth.’
Jason then claimed that Hope had ‘stolen millions of dollars’ from the rising star for his own benefit.
Manish Dutt Mishra is an accomplished journalist and the Executive Editor at Elite News, a position he has held since 2021. With a wealth of experience in the media industry, Manish brings a unique perspective and a strong editorial vision to his role.