Three young children have died after being found alone on Brooklyn’s Coney Island beach in the middle of the night early Monday – and their disturbed mother is suspected of drowning them, law enforcement sources have said.
A 3-month-old girl, a 4-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy were discovered unconscious on the beach near the shore at W. 35th St. at 4:42 a.m.
The tragic discovery was made after police responded to a 911 call at 1.40am from their mother’s sister.
“The caller indicated that she is concerned that her family member may have harmed her three young children,” NYPD Department Chief Kenneth Corey said during a grim news conference on Coney Island’s Riegelmann Boardwalk.
The 30-year-old mother had told a cousin she had drowned the three children at the beach, according to a police source.
Cops attended the mother’s home on Neptune Ave. near W. 33rd St. in Coney Island. They found the apartment door unlocked and no one home.
Somewhere in the building, police met the father of one of the children “who expressed similar concerns and said he believed the woman and children were on the boardwalk,” Corey said.
Cops launched a search of the neighborhood, including the street, beach, boardwalk and hospital.
After about 90 minutes or so, a 911 call sent police to the promenade near Brighton 6th St. in Brighton Beach.
The mother was there with other family members but not the children. She was drunk and emotionally disturbed, according to a police source.
“She was wet, she was barefoot and she wasn’t communicating with officers,” Corey said.
Harbor cops and an NYPD aviation unit joined in the search for the missing children, who were discovered unconscious on the beach near the shore at W. 35th St. “Officers immediately took rescue action, including CPR,” Corey said.
Doctors transported the children to Coney Island Hospital, where medics worked unsuccessfully to save them for a few hours. All three were pronounced dead at 5:38 a.m., according to a police source.
The mother, identified by law enforcement sources as Erin Merdy, was taken to the 60th Precinct Police Station for questioning as cops continue to investigate. She was never arrested. Cops responded to six past domestic incidents involving her.
Later Monday morning, Merdy was taken from the 60th Precinct Police Station to a local hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
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Last week, a worker inside Merdy’s building was in his apartment doing renovations.
“She seemed fine,” the worker said, declining to be named. “She had beautiful children.”
The worker was due to return to her apartment on Tuesday to do more work.
“It’s insane,” he said after learning the children had died.
Cops search for witnesses as they investigate the death of her children.
“We don’t know exactly what happened here yet,” Corey said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.