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New York family tragedy rocks Ulster Spring

Published:Thursday | February 25, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator

A pall of gloom is hanging over the small farming community of Ulster Spring in Trelawny, following the tragic deaths of Jamaican educator, Dionne Coy Bailey, and her two daughters, who were killed this week by her husband in a murder-suicide.

The bizarre incident took place on Monday at the couple's home in the upscale Springfield community of Queens, New York.

Reports are that the 42-year-old educator and her daughters, 19-year-old Yanique and 14-year-old Yolon, were shot in their heads as they slept.

The father and husband, Mark Andrew Bailey, who was a 42-year-old bus driver, later turned a semi-automatic pistol to his head and killed himself. It is alleged that he used a shotgun to wipe out his family. Bailey left a note explaining how much he was sorry.

"My mother, myself and my niece woke up crying this morning. We still just can't believe what happen," Mrs Bailey's sister, Sandra Nibbs, told
The Gleaner

"We are taking it very hard. The three of us, including our mother, Linda Coy, had to be taken to the hospital. I have since fainted at work."

Angela Brooks, another of Mrs Bailey's sisters who lives in New York, told
The New York Post
, "I don't know what's the problem, I have no idea, I don't know, I don't know."

Daily carpool

A report in
The New York Post
stated that when Mrs Bailey did not answer the doorbell for her daily carpool, her sister and brother-in-law pried open a bedroom window. They went in and discovered the bodies. The police, who were immediately alerted, later found Bailey's body slumped over the kitchen table.

Prior to leaving Jamaica, Bailey was employed to the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation. He is originally from Kingston, while his wife of 20 years is from Trelawny.

According to Nibbs, Mrs Bailey migrated about 10 years ago, during the period when authorities in the United States were recruiting teachers from Jamaica. She got through and took her family with her.

At the time of her death, she was an assistant principal at Philip Randolph High School in Queens.

Gerry Menegatos, assistant principal with responsibility for organisation at the school, said Mrs Bailey had been employed to the institution for the past two years.

"In the first year, she worked as a literacy coach and, during the second year, she became an assistant principal," Menagatos said. "She was studying and working towards a doctorate in education. Her death was a shock to the entire Randolph community. She will be missed by administrators, parents and students alike."

He further stressed that she touched the lives of everyone around her, and that she was committed to education and believed in what she was doing. The assistant principal described her as very energetic, eager to help, and said she made everyone around her smile.