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Source: Honor Students Planned Double Suicide

December 3, 1993

SETAUKET, N.Y. (AP) _ They were straight-A students, top of their class at a prestigious high school. For the past month, they went to school, talked with friends - and apparently planned their suicides.

Mili Subudhi, 15, and Ellen Liu, 16, both from Setauket, lay down in front of an oncoming commuter train Thursday night about half a mile from the Long Island Rail Road’s Stony Point station, police said. The deaths stunned friends and teachers.

″They weren’t loners, not desperate and sad, not kids out on the fringes of life,″ said their principal, Robert McKean. ″They had many friends, many good friends, who cared very deeply about them.″

But police going through the girls’ personal papers found notes indicating the pair had kept a dark secret from those friends, a law enforcement source said Friday. Notes about the suicide - including an apology for the pain it would cause one girl’s boyfriend - were found.

″There was an indication that they planned this out together,″ the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The double suicide of two ″high achieving, bright kids that bordered on brilliant″ left officials at Ward-Melville High School, where the girls were juniors, struggling to figure out what went wrong.

Subudhi and Liu were both in the top 10 percent of their class. Although just juniors, they were earning college credit in advanced placement classes. One edited the school literary magazine. Neither had a history of family problems, drug or alcohol use, McKean said.

″That’s what’s so frustrating and puzzling about this, there was no indication, no key that these kids were in trouble,″ he said.

Even in the hours before their deaths, there were no outward signs of any problems.

″They both attended classes yesterday,″ McKean said. ″There was no unusual absenteeism.″

On Friday, about 20 counselors were available to talk with surviving students about the tragedy. McKean said the school will be open Saturday for youngsters who want to meet with counselors.

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