On Sunday, May 26, 2019 Jane Bailey woke up to every mother's worst nightmare. While out of town, she got a frantic phone call from her husband that her youngest child had been found dead. He had hung himself from a tree in the cemetery on their farm. Such a violent death was unexpected and painful beyond words, as she struggled to find an earlier flight to get home.
Christopher Dakota Bailey was 21 years old with a full time job and loving girlfriend. He had dreams of successfully running a commercial crabbing business while building a life and family of his own. He suffered chronic back pain from a fractured vertebra due to a car accident several years prior, but was known to be the most faithful and diligent employee at M & M Marine Construction company and Chesapeake Farms. In the weeks prior to his death, Dakota had fallen on a run of bad luck: mechanical issues with the crab boat and stress of a new truck payment after his old vehicle was no longer reliable. This was compounded and then elevated by the misconduct of Maryland State Police troopers sent to the scene when his equipment failed and his 21 foot skiff fell off the trailer in the middle of Route 50. No one was hurt and other than a slight redirection of traffic, all should have been well. Instead of Protect and Serve, these representatives of law enforcement mocked and laughed. While on the phone with him, Jane heard the troopers mocking and baiting him into a confrontation. There are witness accounts and photographic evidence of these individuals going so far as to live stream the incident while antagonizing Dakota. Additionally, the MSP troopers and tow truck company blackmailed him into paying an absurd amount of money to load the boat back onto the trailer with threats of additional fines and impounding. While these events should have been manageable and the finances not so astronomical to overcome, to a 21 year old they seemed impossible. Dakota spoke at length with friends over the next few days about his embarrassment and humiliation from the Maryland State Police. None of his family or friends had any idea of the darkness he struggled with as a result. He felt inadequate, overwhelmed, embarrassed, and a failure. He felt as if the very waters that gave him life were pulling him under. Given Jane's personal connections to Maryland law enforcement over her life, she is dismayed and shocked that her son was treated in this manner.
Christopher Dakota Bailey was a hard working, passionate, and loyal friend, son, brother, and waterman. He is remembered for his humor, dedication and generosity to his community. He loved what he did - and did what he loved. The class clown and life of a party, he could bring a smile to the face of everyone around him. The world is a darker place without him.