Police: Body of second professor who died in floods from storm Ida recovered near Greenwich border

Photo of Robert Marchant
Ken and Fran Bailie were killed by floodwaters from Hurricane Ida.

Ken and Fran Bailie were killed by floodwaters from Hurricane Ida.

/ Contributed by Kathleen Bailie / Associated Press

Authorities have recovered the body of a second professor from Iona College who died in flooding caused by the remains of Hurricane Ida in Rye Brook, N.Y., about two miles from the Greenwich border.

Her husband, also an Iona College professor, was killed as well after their car was trapped by rising floodwaters, according to police in Harrison, N.Y.

The body of Frances Bailie was found at about 11 a.m. Monday, police said. She had been missing since early Thursday morning, according to police.

Her husband, Ken, was found dead in the Purchase section of Harrison on Thursday.

“Rye Brook Police notified HPD that a contractor discovered what appeared to be the remains of the victim under a displaced and partially destroyed bridge, not far from where the male victim was found,” said a statement from Harrison police.

“With the water level having dropped significantly over the past 48 hours, we are relieved that the victim’s body was recovered, and that the surviving family are able to have closure. Both I and the department would like to send condolences to all those affected by this tragedy,” Harrison Police Chief John Vasta said in a statement.

Officers had found the couple’s unoccupied car pinned against a utility pole at Lincoln Avenue and Brookside Way just off the Hutchinson River Parkway during the storm last week, police said.

Ken Bailie’s body was found about a quarter-mile from their vehicle, which was caught in the flood-swollen Blind Brook that runs through Rye Brook and Purchase.

Connecticut State Police assisted in the search for the missing woman, according to Harrison police.

Ken and Frances Bailie were both professors in the computer science department at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. The college’s president, Seamus Carey, issued a statement last week asking for prayers for the “devoted” professors, and a service was held for them over the weekend.

The two professors had been married for over 50 years, according to the college. The couple lived in Rye Brook, a community adjoining the western border of Greenwich along King Street.

Rye Brook Mayor Paul Rosenberg said the deaths of the two well-regarded local residents, who have lived in the community for decades, “was a tragic blow to us.”

Fran Bailie walked around Rye Brook every day and was a visible and friendly presence, Rosenberg said, and the two were also involved in Catholic education in town.

“It’s horrendous, my heart goes out to the family,” Rosenberg said.

The mayor said the damage from the remains of the hurricane showed how potent and dangerous flooding can be. “It certainly hits close to home,” he said. “We all hear about flood warnings, and now a lot of people will now realize that it can kill people.”

rmarchant@greenwichtime.com