Officials with the NYPD reported that a 30-year-old lady from Brooklyn was being evaluated for mental health issues late on Monday night, after her three small children were discovered unresponsive on a Coney Island beach and later pronounced dead.
Family members had called 911 earlier Monday, saying they were afraid the lady would hurt her children, and police were dispatched to the woman’s Neptune Avenue house near the boardwalk.
A law enforcement official and a member of the woman’s family positively identified her as Erin Merdy, and police stated she had no criminal history or charges of child abuse.
The NYPD named the youngsters as 3-month-old Oliver Bondarev, 4-year-old Lilana Merdy, and 7-year-old Zachary Merdy.
At a press conference on the beachfront, NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey stated the woman had been taken to the 60th Precinct, but that she had not spoken with officers and had not been charged as of late Monday morning.
In a phone interview late on Monday, Merdy’s aunt Dine Stephen stated that her niece had recently been struggling with mental health concerns, which may have been related to the birth of her youngest kid.
‘Hopefully they will get her the care she needs and not treat her like a criminal,’ Stephen, who did not want the children’s identities revealed, said.
Autopsies on the youngsters were scheduled for Tuesday, according to a spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
About 1:40 a.m., a chaotic chain of events that culminated in the finding of the kids began. According to Corey, police had gone back to their station Monday after knocking on the door of an apartment on Neptune Avenue and getting no answer.
The mother and her children were last seen on the boardwalk in Coney Island, where the chief said they were greeted by a man who claimed to be the child’s father and shared their fears.
Corey stated that after searching the boardwalk, beach, and Coney Island Hospital, authorities located the mother alone near Brighton 6th Street and the Riegelmann Boardwalk. Corey claimed she was damp, but did not specify whether or not she had been submerged in water.
At 4:40 a.m., the kids were located after a second, more extensive search that included police helicopters. where the land meets the water,” Corey explained. The children were transported by police to Coney Island Hospital, where they were later confirmed dead.