Amanda, who was featured in the YouTube video series Soft White Underbelly talking about her drug addiction, has passed away at the age of 25.
Amanda’s death was confirmed in a video post by the channel. The video has had more than 540,000 views as of May 16, 2021. It was posted on May 15, 2021. The cause of death is not certain but foul play, relapse, and self-harm have been ruled out.
The video is captioned, “Soft White Underbelly interview with Lima and Amanda’s father, Larry who speak about the tragic passing of Amanda this week.” Amanda was a resident of Skid Row who spoke about her struggles with crack cocaine and prostitution in the YouTube series. One video about her had more than 3 million views. She grew up in Inglewood, California. She spoke about how she didn’t have a mom growing up.
Here’s what you need to know:
Amanda’s Cause of Death Was Likely Natural Causes But Isn’t Known for Sure
In the video, Lima Jevremovic says she believes that Amanda’s cause of death came from natural causes, the sustained damage she suffered from being homeless over the years. However, her autopsy results have not come back and probably won’t be known for a while, so the formal cause of death remains uncertain.
The video by Mark Laita is titled, Amanda (May, 2021), Skid Row, Los Angeles. Laita created the YouTube series. He told E News, “Until Amanda’s autopsy is finished we won’t know exactly what caused her death on Sunday (5/9). All we know is they’ve ruled out drugs or foul play. We should know more in the next week or so.”
On Sunday, May 9, 2021, “the treatment center staff walked into Amanda’s room thinking she was peacefully sleeping and realized she had passed away,” Lima revealed in the video. “It’s been a really big shock for us, and my brain hasn’t really been able to comprehend it and announcing it makes it real. Very hard to believe. I know they did a toxicology report. All she had in her system was Tylenol. I was supposed to fly in for her transfer for outpatient care and she never got transferred.”
Lima says Amanda was in residential care “so she had 24 -7 supervision. Any foul play or self harm was already ruled out. So she died out of physical natural cases. I think it’s really important to note for everybody watching that mental health can cause physical illness, and the time that Amanda spent on the street is the reason that she passed away.”
Amanda spoke very candidly about turning to prostitution in the video. “I tried working at PetSmart, at bonds. It doesn’t work out. I always make mistakes,” she said.
Lima organized a GoFundMe page for Amanda titled, “One Year of Mental Health Treatment for Amanda” that raised $36,313. Lima also wrote that Amanda had passed away on the GoFundme page.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share with you, Amanda has passed away. We changed Amanda’s life and showed the world that no matter how far you have sunk into your mental illness or addiction, recovery is possible. Unfortunately, the physical toll mental illness and addiction can have on the body is something we have no control over. On May 9th, 2021, Amanda passed away in her sleep in residential treatment prior to her release to outpatient care,” she wrote.
“While her death is still under further investigation (we are awaiting the results of the autopsy), foul play, self-harm and relapse have all been ruled out. It is believed that, in combination with the physical damage caused by her long-term drug use, she passed away from the Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) she sustained as a result of multiple violent rapes and beatings she endured as a young homeless woman living on the streets of Los Angeles.”
Lima Says Amanda Had Many Injuries During Her Life
According to Lima, Amanda “endured” traumatic brain injury. “We were working on repairing her jaw,” she said. “She was brutally beaten and raped on so many occasions,” at least three times.
She had “physical damage to her brain.” Lima also noted the “abuse she did with crack cocaine” and said that she was a “little heavier before she had ever used drugs.”
Once she started using crack cocaine “she withered away. I could literally wrap my fingers around her wrist. She went from being heavier to anorexic. Her physical condition was so deteriorated. She had so much malnutrition. A lot of times people underweight require 3-5,000 calories just to get back to zero but that doesn’t include the damage that’s been done to the metabolism and the body and the digestion.”
She concluded, “Amanda was just homeless for too long.”
At the same time, she said that Amanda “had so many plans” and was proving people wrong who said that she “couldn’t be helped.” She had filmed a video on what it’s like to go to treatment and had plans for more.
YouTube followers expressed great sadness. “This is so sad man. I wish things could’ve ended differently for her. But to know how hard she worked to get her life on track and how successful she was at doing that, does make this pill a little easier to swallow. Condolences going out to her family and everyone who genuinely loved and cared for that beautiful soul,” wrote one.