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Officials: Murdered Nash County Woman Had Been Trying To Leave Husband

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WILSON, N.C. — Police in Wilson are searching for a man suspected of abducting, then murdering his estranged wife.

Wilson police said 30-year-old Ricky Bailey abducted his estranged wife, Dena, at the Food Lion on Tarboro Street Sunday morning. Her body was found Sunday night in a wooded area of Nash County.

The staff at Wells Elementary School were stunned to hear the news about Dena Bailey, who was a second-grade teaching assistant at the school.

"One of her extra duties was parking lot supervision in the mornings, and every day, rain or shine, she greeted every student with a 'Good morning' and a great big smile," principal Jim Davis said.

Wilson police said Bailey was recently separated from her husband and was living with a relative. Officials said Bailey had followed every step the system had to offer.

"She had a protective order. Once he violated the protective order, she went back to court, so there was nothing else she could do," said Yvonne Ortiz, of the Wesley Shelter

"It's very frustrating and more than that, it's very terrifying that there is not a surefire way to prevent bad things from happening," said Kim Gauss, of the Wesley Shelter.

Police said Ricky Bailey was last known to be in the Mount Pleasant area of Nash County.Investigators said he was last seen driving a 1997 green Ford Contour.

Authorities say Bailey is considered armed and dangerous. They think he has a pistol, and possibly, several rifles and shotguns.