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Those who knew the Bailey family said they remembered the Rosedale clan as a happy group with no apparent problems, so when they were discovered Monday killed in an apparent murder-suicide enacted by the family’s patriarch, relatives said they were shocked and horrified.
“Itook everything for granted until today,” said Angela Brooks, the sister of the family’s matriarch Dionne Coy Bailey, an assistant principal at A. Philip Randolph HS in Harlem.
The 42-year-old school administrator was found by relatives and the authorities dead inside her two-family home on 230th Place Monday morning along with her two daughters, Yanique, 19, and Yolann, 14, and her husband Mark Bailey, a school bus driver in Nassau County.
Investigators said that Mark Bailey, who had a note next to his corpse that reportedly read “I’m sorry, Love, Mark” shot his wife and daughtersin the head with a high-powered assault rifle and then took his own life.
Brooks, who was joined by several of her relatives outside the home as police combed the crime scene, said she did not know what could have prompted the violence.
“He was very helpful,” Brooks said of her brother-in-law. “If there was anything you needed, he’d be there for you.”
Yanique, who was studying at Stony Brook University, and Yolann both attended Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside. Both teens were A students, according to relatives, and were active in extracurricular activities.
Yanique was a member of the girl’s lacrosse team during her time there and Yolann was a freshman.
School officials were informed about the shooting and some passed on the information to students informally Monday, according to the teens at the campus. Several teens at the school said administrators told them that counselors would be available for students.
Although many Cardozo students said they did not know the sisters, some said they were shaken up after hearing what happened to their classmate.
“It’s tough to know someone who went to your school and died,” said sophomore Jose Preez, 15 of Flushing.
The incident began Monday morning when Dionne Bailey’s other sister, Dorrett Combs, could not reach her for their daily commute into Manhattan. Combs and Brooks’s husband, who asked not to be named, went to the home to check on Coy Bailey along with the police.
Officers left when they said they could not do anything since the door was locked, but Combs and her brother-in-law decided to search the house. Eventually they were able to pry open the window and made their way inside where they found the mother and daughters dead in their beds and Mark Bailey dead on the couch with the weapon in his hand and the note nearby.
“I broke down when I saw it,” Brooks’s husband said of discovering one of the girls.
The police were called back and soon the entire neighborhood was filled with investigators. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown appeared physically shaken up while talking to reporters after he examined the house.
“It’s very difficult to comprehend how it is someone reaches this point of despair that they would commit an act such as this,” the DA said.
Mark Bailey worked as a school bus driver in Nassau County while his wife also taught English at the Manhattan high school. Malinda Kinard, the school’s parent coordinator, declined to comment on the killings.
“It’s a bitter pill to swallow,” she said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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