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Seeking clues into woman’s odd behavior

Published: Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – She was a big mystery – a seemingly caring mother who died after ramming her car in a highly secure area of the nation’s capital.

And because so little was known about Miriam Carey, reporters from across the country headed to New York and Connecticut, seeking clues to explain the dental hygienist’s odd behavior. When she was finally shot Thursday after leading authorities on a chase from the White House to Capitol Hill, her 1-year-old daughter was with her.

Miriam’s mother, Idella Carey, 68, had told ABC News on Thursday night that her daughter suffered from postpartum depression, and so reporters descended on Idella Carey’s apartment building in the Louis Pink housing project, a cluster of more than a dozen squat brick buildings set around courtyards in East New York, Brooklyn.

On Friday, as news of Miriam Carey’s death spread, neighbors clustered around the courtyard talking and watching the three policemen who stood at the door of that apartment building to keep reporters out.

But there were few clues about Miriam Carey’s behavior at her mother’s home. Many people in the neighborhood said that the elder Carey, like many others in the project, which has seen its share of crime in recent years, kept to herself. They mentioned seeing Miriam and her two sisters visiting at times, but most neighbors were tight-lipped about the family.

“I’ve known her a long time,” James Rainey said of Idella. Rainey, who has lived in a building across the courtyard for 47 years, said when he last spoke to Idella Carey a week ago, nothing seemed abnormal, and she hadn’t mentioned her daughter.

Police, the FBI, and other law enforcement had searched Miriam Carey’s ground-floor apartment building in Stamford, Conn., on Thursday night. By Friday morning, the apartment, in a sprawling beige building surrounding a common grassy area with a gazebo in the middle, was quiet again and devoid of police.

Neighbors of Miriam Carey’s sister, Valarie Carey, told the New York Daily News that Miriam frequently visited her sister wearing hospital scrubs, sometimes with a man in a Porsche Cayenne SUV. The neighbor said Miriam Carey had a breakdown when visiting her sister 3 months ago.

Miriam’s other sister, Amy Carey-Jones, lives in an apartment building on a street of brownstones in a rapidly gentrifying area of Brooklyn on the border of the Clinton Hill and Bed-Stuy neighborhoods.

Amy and Valarie appeared on CNN to talk about their sister; as part of their contract with anchor Anderson Cooper, they have decided not to talk to other media. In the interview they seemed unsure of what had happened.

“We’re still trying to put the pieces together. It’s very sudden,” Amy Carey-Jones said. “It still doesn’t seem real. And we’re just waiting for the real story as to exactly what happened to come out.”

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