Prosecutors have vowed to seek justice in the case of a Brooklyn mother accused of drowning her three children on a New York City beach.
Erin Merdy, 30, could face life in prison if convicted in the deaths of her children Zachary Merdy, seven, Liliana Stephens-Merdy, four, and three-month-old Oliver Bondarev, prosecutors said in their arraignment Thursday.
Merdy was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and nine counts of second-degree murder after the children’s bodies were discovered on Coney Island beach on September 12.
“This is a shocking and unspeakable crime and with these charges we will seek justice,” District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, according to PIX11.
Merdy was found alone, barefoot and soaking wet on the Brighton Beach promenade after a family called a welfare check at 3am over fears the children were in danger.
According to court documents, Merdy reportedly told a relative that “she hurt her children.”
Their bodies were discovered before Merdy was reportedly incoherent and rambling when she was arrested by police, CBS News reported.
She also reportedly told police that she “dreamed about the babies in the water and imagined going into the water with the kids.”
The mother may have suffered from postpartum depression, her mother Jacqueline Scott said.
It was reported that she was released shortly before her death without a psychiatric evaluation by the Children’s Welfare Administration.
According to The New York Daily News, which reported that the incident happened two months before the deaths, she “fell through the cracks.”
An ACS spokesperson had previously said: “Our top priority is protecting the safety and well-being of all children in New York City.
“We are investigating this tragedy with the NYPD.”
Merdy’s estranged ex-husband, Derrick Merdy, told the New York Times that Zachary, his son, often came to visits dirty and complained that he hadn’t had enough food.
The two were reportedly locked in a custody battle, a relative told the New York Post.
Derrick later shared heartbreaking news with his son shortly after he woke up, telling the mourners: “There are no words that can… do justice to who he really was.
“I can’t express it. The way you met my son is how you will love him. Knowing him was a real privilege. In seven years he changed my life forever. He really did.”
Liliana’s father, Shamir Small, posted pictures of his four-year-old daughter as he paid tribute to her.
According to the criminal complaint, Merdy told relatives “that she hurt her children and that they are gone”.
NYPD detective chief James Essig said: “We believe she went into the water and drowned the children.
“As for the motive, we’ll leave that to the healthcare professionals.”
Merdy is being held without bail.
She is expected to return to court on November 30.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6400335/prosecutors-seek-justice-mom-drowned-three-children/ Huge update after mum ‘drowned her three young children’ as prosecutors promise to ‘seek justice for untold crimes’