AURORA, Texas -- It is the last known picture that Leslie Bailey took -- a slight smile, her hair in her eyes.
"I just found the other day in the house. I didn’t know she’d had it done," said her father, 71-year-old Frankie Miller of Aurora.
The photo is bringing unexpected comfort to Miller after an unexpected tragedy. "Man, it was hard to deal with. Really, really, hard to deal with," Miller said.
On May 1, Miller was watching the news when he saw a scene on the screen that made him stop in his tracks. Police said a woman had been shot to death inside her truck outside the Ridgmar Mall in Fort Worth. Fort Worth police say they did not locate a tracker on the woman's vehicle. Miller knew instantly it was his daughter.
"She thought she’d swing by Ridgmar Mall to get a bottle of perfume. That was one mistake she never should’ve made," her father said.
Her family says for years, Leslie had been trying to escape her estranged husband, David Scott Bailey. Despite filing numerous restraining orders and eventually moving in with her father, family and friends say Bailey would still show up wherever Leslie went. They say he used tracking devices to find her.
"One day, she had said there were like 20 police cars outside her house," says a friend, Dianna Meadows. "And that’s when I messaged her and said, 'Are things any better today?' She said, 'No, it's bad,'" Meadows said.
Meadows, who is a waitress at Tater Junction in Aurora, knew Leslie through her work at the restaurant. She says her stomach sunk when she found out.
"Here was a woman who did everything according to the books. She got the restraining order. She moved in with her father for protection. She did everything she could to protect herself," Meadows said.
Each year, more than 100 women in Texas are killed by intimate partners, according to a statistic from the Texas Council on Family Violence. In this case, police say David Scott Bailey killed himself after killing his wife.
"I’d just ask him why. Why’d you have to do this?" Miller said. "Why didn’t you just give it up and let her have a life?" Miller said.
Leslie leaves behind a son and a lot of sorrow. She was a woman who tried to survive, in spite of it all.
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