Mother of 3 children who drowned in Coney Island charged with second-degree murder

3 children dead in drowning incident on Coney Island; Police question their mother

3 children dead in drowning incident on Coney Island; Police question their mother


The mother of three children who died after being found unconscious and in critical condition on the beaches of Coney Island on Monday has been arrested and charged with murder.

Erin Merdy, 30, is charged with three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of depraved indifference to human life and three counts of the murder of victims younger than 11 years old, according to a statement from the New York Police Department.

Authorities said that Merdy was initially taken into custody for questioning Monday following two 911 calls that ultimately led police to the bodies of the children around 4:30 a.m. ET. 

“The caller indicated that she was concerned her family member may have harmed her three small children,” said NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey.

New York Mother Suspected Of Drowning Her Three Children At Coney Island Beach
Police work along a stretch of beach at Coney Island after a mother is suspected of drowning her children in the ocean on September 12, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Getty Images

The victims — 7-year-old Zachary, 4-year-old Lilana and 3-month-old Oliver  — were found unresponsive along the Brooklyn shoreline. Medical personnel transported the children to a nearby hospital, where they were pronounced deceased.

Sources told CBS New York that investigators believe Merdy was under immense financial pressure. She had stopped paying rent and was facing legal action from her landlord. Investigators also believe she was suffering from postpartum depression, according to CBS New York.

Authorities have not found evidence that the children were previously abused or neglected, according to Corey.

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