Family finds closure after missing swimmer's body is found - - The News for South Mississippi

Family finds closure after missing swimmer's body is found

Edward Bailey, Jr. Edward Bailey, Jr.

By Doug Walker – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - As family and friends stood silently and offered support for each other, the body of 34-year-old Edward Bailey, Junior was brought to shore Tuesday morning. His body was recovered following an intensive two day search of Biloxi's Back Bay, near Grasshopper Island. 

For two days, family members were hoping for the best, but fearing the worst.  Friends are there for the mother and the rest of the family in this time of need.  Francis Fernandez is one of those friends.  

"She's just like a sister to me and we go way back together," Fernandez said.  "We go to church together and we pray together and her son was a very lovely son."

Late Monday, the family became aware that the chances of finding Edward alive were very, very slim, especially after 24 hours had passed.  The most important thing became recovering his body, to bring closure to the family. 

And that is what happened Tuesday morning.  The family has an answer, said another family friend, Gerald Thompson.  

"To find out if he was alive or dead, so that can bring closure and that way the family can move on, was important."   

And now the family may find some peace, according to Fernandez.  

"It's the best answer that she found him and she can have her peace of mind.  She can have her peace of mind that they found him and even though he's not alive, she can bury him and put him at rest for herself."  

It was also a day for Thompson to remember the kind of life that Edward Bailey led.  A life that left a lasting impression on many people. 

"He has a good heart," Thompson said.  "He was tender hearted person.  He had love for people, you know. And when you got love for people, that tends to make you a special person." 

Funeral arrangements for Bailey are incomplete at this time. But friends are planning a memorial service and bon fire Friday night on the beach in Gulfport, just west of the Courthouse Road Pier. Donations will be accepted to help the family cope with burial expenses.

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