A note from the Special Education Department at Live Oak Elementary was attached to the mailbox in front of the Dendy home this week. It read: "Lendene, you will be remembered as the teacher who cared and loved every child no matter what their stage or level of education." - Staff photo by Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith
COVINGTON -- Authorities have announced that the deaths of Robert and Lendene Dendy were the result of a murder/suicide. The manner and cause were determined to be gunshot wounds from a 9mm handgun.
"Mr. Dendy's wound was self-inflicted," said Newton County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Deputy Courtney Morrison.
Apparently Robert Dendy shot Mrs. Dendy while they were in the bedroom of the home and then turned the gun on himself.
Morrison said no motive for the murder/suicide has been uncovered, nor has the family been able to give what they think may be a reason.
"That's one of those things the family will struggle with for a long time," said Newton County Coroner Tommy Davis. "Unfortunately, we have no answers to those types of questions."
The bodies have been released to the family for burial, Morrison said.
The bodies of Robert Dendy, 44, and Lendene Dendy, 39, were found by a family member at 265 Stone Ridge Way around 7:45 a.m. Monday and law enforcement was notified.
Davis said the time line for the time of the deaths was sometime between the early morning hours Sunday, when the last known people talked to them and the time they were found on Monday.
Lendene Dendy was a popular third-grade teacher at Live Oak Elementary School. She came to the Newton County School System from DeKalb County Schools in 2008 as a third-grade teacher at West Newton Elementary School. She also had been a fifth-grade teacher at Live Oak.
The school system has made available a team of counselors at the school for those touched by the deaths.
"This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Dendy's family and friends at this very difficult time," said NCSS Public Relations Director Sherri Davis-Viniard.
The Live Oak Elementary School website said that Mrs. Dendy had been an educator for 17 years. She received her bachelor's degree from Claflin University and her master's degree and education specialist degree from Nova Southeastern University. It said that her "goal is to encourage students to be all that they can be and to do the best that they can do" and gives her interests as softball and travel. The site also described her as a newlywed who was "enjoying her new marriage."
According to Cindy Ball, executive director of information and community relations at Rockdale County Public Schools, Robert Dendy worked at Edwards Middle School in Conyers from July 2006 until November 2011 as a physical education teacher and athletic director. Ball said she does not have any information on why he left his job or his next place of employment.
Reportedly, he had previously worked for DeKalb County Schools as a teacher and football coach.