NYC mom suspected of drowning her 3 children has been charged with murder

The Brooklyn mother, who has confessed to drowning her three young children on Coney Island beach, has been charged with murder in connection with her death, police said Wednesday.

Erin Merdy, 30, has been charged with first degree murder, murder with depraved indifference and murder of a victim under the age of 11, police officers said.

She faces nine charges in total – three for each of her children, 7-year-old Zachary Merdy, 4-year-old Liliana Stephen and 3-month-old Oliver Bondarev, police said.

Merdy is accused of drowning the children at Coney Island.
Erin Merdy is accused of murdering her three children.
Paul Martinka for the NY Post

Merdy has been hospitalized in the psychiatric unit at NYU Langone Brooklyn since late Monday morning and it’s unclear when she will be charged with the charges. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office was unable to provide a timeline.

In the early hours of Monday, Merdy was caught on surveillance footage walking from her Neptune Avenue apartment to the Coney Island boardwalk with her three children in tow. She was captured shortly after leaving the area without her children.

The mother, who the family said had mental health problems and may have been suffering from postpartum depression, later confessed to relatives that she drowned her children, law enforcement sources previously said.

Before the tragedy, Merdy had been acting strangely, making remarks to her relatives that left her concerned that she had harmed her children.

Some of these relatives called the police and asked them to do a health check at her home, but when officers arrived the door was unlocked and no one was there, sparking a frantic manhunt for the mother and her children.

Just after 3am, police found Merdy near the seafront of Brighton Beach, soaking wet, walking barefoot and in a bathrobe on the sand. She appeared dazed and didn’t answer questions, and her children were nowhere to be found.

The NYPD Ports and Aviation Department searched the sand and sea for the three children and at 4:40 a.m. made the heartbreaking discovery of their lifeless bodies on the shore near West 35th Street, just three blocks from their home.

They were taken to Coney Island Hospital but could not be saved.

Merdy had filed at least two reports of neglect with the city’s Children’s Services Agency against her for not taking the children to school, but the disposition of the reports is unclear, law enforcement sources previously said.

Little Zachary’s father, Derrick Merdy, an air traffic controller in Virginia, told the New York Times his son was often dirty and hungry when he showed up for mandatory custody visits.

He told the outlet he had reported the mother to “Child Protection Services” and tried unsuccessfully to gain full custody of her son. It is unclear to which authority the father reported the mother. NYC mom suspected of drowning her 3 children has been charged with murder


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