Coney Island murders: Erin Merdy charged after mother drowns 3 children at NYC beach

NEW YORK — The Brooklyn mom accused of drowning her three children on a New York City beach has been charged with murder.

Erin Merdy, 30, was charged Wednesday with triple murder in connection with the deaths of her three children.

For each victim, she faces charges of murder, murder with depraved indifference to human life, and murder of victims under the age of 11.

On Tuesday, the coroner said the three children died by drowning and that their deaths had been ruled manslaughter.

According to police sources, police have video of Merdy calmly leading the children to the sea in the middle of the night.

Merdy remained hospitalized Tuesday at NYU Langone Hospital Brooklyn. If she cannot be brought to justice, a bedside charge is possible.

Authorities are investigating whether postpartum depression, which led to postpartum psychosis, may have played a role.

Merdy has no documented history of psychiatric problems, but the family have issued statements that she is on antidepressants and has stopped taking her medication.

Police say they have told family members she drowned their children but will not speak to investigators.

The lifeless bodies of her three children – identified as 7-year-old Zachary Merdy, 4-year-old Lilana Merdy and 3-month-old Oliver Bondarev – were found on a Coney Island beach after an extensive search.

Police first learned of the children’s disappearance early Monday morning when a concerned family member called 911 and said Merdy called her to say she had harmed the children.

When officers arrived at the home on Neptune Avenue, a man posing as the father opened the door and told police he believed the mother was on the boardwalk with the children.

Officers then began searching the boardwalk and surrounding area for signs of the mother or children.

Ninety minutes later, police received a call from family members who were with Erin Merdy on the boardwalk about two miles from where the children were found.

The search for the children intensified after Erin Merdy was found alone and police dispatched a helicopter and marines.

The children were found just after 4:30 a.m. on a quiet stretch of waterfront beach about 13 blocks from the stadium where the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team plays.

Efforts to resuscitate her at a nearby hospital failed, said NYPD department head Kenneth Corey.

Erin Merdy has had prior incidents of harassment and aggravated harassment that have not resulted in charges, but she has no prior arrests or a history of emotional distress.

Police say the actions appear to be intentional rather than spontaneous, and detectives are investigating her past and interviewing neighbors and relatives to determine what happened.

The Administration for Children’s Services declined to discuss whether they should have examined Merdy before the children’s deaths and whether the family would have slipped through the cracks.

“Our top priority is protecting the safety and well-being of all children in New York City. We are investigating this tragedy with the NYPD,” an ACS spokesman said.

Eyewitness News also learned that she had been served with an eviction notice, claiming rent had not been paid for sometime last year.

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