New York mother suspected of drowning her 3 children has been charged with murder

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

Erin Merdy, 30, has been charged with willful murder, murder with depraved indifference and murder of a victim under 11, cops said.

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

Erin Merdy is charged with the murder of her three children.
Paul Martinka for NY Post

Merdy has been hospitalized at NYU Langone Brooklyn’s psychiatric ward since Monday morning and it’s unclear when she will be arraigned. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office was unable to provide a timeline.

In the early hours of Monday, Merdy was captured 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 issues and may have suffered from postpartum depression, later confessed to relatives that she had drowned her children, police sources previously said.

Prior to the tragedy, Merdy had acted strangely and made comments to those close to her that left them worried that she had harmed her children.

Some of those relatives called the police and asked them to carry out a wellness 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 3 a.m., police found Merdy near the Brighton Beach promenade, soaked, barefoot and walking through the sand in a bathrobe. She seemed dazed and unresponsive to questions, and her children were nowhere to be found.

The NYPD Port and Aviation Unit scoured 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 in only three blocks from their home.

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

Merdy had at least two neglect reports filed against her with the city’s Children’s Services Administration for failing to bring the children to school, but the disposition of the reports is unclear, officials previously said. police sources.

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

He told the outlet that he reported the mother to “child protective services” and tried to get full custody of their son, to no avail. It is not known to which agency the father reported the mother.


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