A mother from Brooklyn has been formally charged with murder in the deaths of her three children, who were found submerged in water near Coney Island.
According to a spokeswoman for the New York Police Department, Erin Merdy, 30 has been arrested and charged with the murders of her three children, aged seven years (Zachary), four years (Lilana) and three months (Oliver).
At 3:13 a.m. on Monday, local time, the NYPD was summoned to the intersection of Brighton 6th Street and Boardwalk East, where they located Merdy and learned that she may have been with her children who were initially “unaccounted for.”
The children’s remains were found by police at West 35th Street and Boardwalk later that day. According to the statement, they were found “unconscious and unresponsive, along the shoreline.”
The youngsters were taken to NYC Health & Hospitals/Coney Island, “where they were pronounced dead,” the announcement stated.
A relative contacted 911 at 4:40 a.m., saying “she was concerned that her family member may have harmed her three small children,” New York Police Department Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said during a press conference on Monday.
“The mother was soaking wet,” Corey added. “Whether she had been out in the rain or whether she had been in the water is all speculative at this point. She was wet, she was barefoot, and she was not communicative to the officers.”
The father of one of the children, who contacted police to Merdy’s apartment at 1:40 a.m. “expressed similar concerns and said he believed the woman and the children were on the boardwalk in Coney Island,” Corey said.
At the news conference, Corey stated, “detectives are attempting to speak with her but so far she has not said anything.”
According to Merdy’s aunt Dine Stephen, who spoke to The Daily Beast, Merdy had been experiencing mental health problems.
“No one expected it to get to this level,” she claimed. “But obviously, she’s a woman who needs help. She has mental problems. We ask for people to have some grace and understand that. She’s not an evil person. She has mental issues that need to be addressed.”
According to the Daily Beast, Merdy’s uncle Eddy Stephen said, “I knew she had some mental issues, with depression and stuff like that, but… not to that extent.” “I’m lost for words. We are all shocked by the situation. I don’t know what to say.”
In an interview with The New York Times Derrick Merdy Zachary’s father said he has been fighting for custody of his kid. I was trying to get my son,” he explained. “Now that’s not going to happen.”
Whether or if Merdy has legal representation and can speak on her behalf is unclear at this time while she is undergoing a psychological examination.
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