Erin Merdy: Mentally unstable Brooklyn mom, 30, who drowned 3 children charged with murder
Merdy faces nine counts in total, three for each of her three children, Zachary Merdy, 7, Liliana Stephen, 4, and 3-month-old Oliver Bondarev
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY: Brooklyn mom Erin Merdy who admitted drowning her three children on the beach at Coney Island, has been charged with murder in connection with their deaths, police said on Wednesday, September 14. The 30-year-old mom was also battling mental health issues at the time of the incident that took place on Monday, September 12.
Police stated that Merdy is charged with nine counts in total, three for each of her three children, Zachary Merdy, 7, Liliana Stephen, 4, and Oliver Bondarev, 3 months old. Since late Monday night, she has been receiving treatment in the psychiatric ward at NYU Langone Brooklyn. A date for her arraignment and a timeline is still unknown.
According to Chief of NYPD Kenneth Corey, a family alerted police with concerns that the mother may have hurt the children, and that is when the frantic search for the mother and children started. Around 1.40 am, police arrived at the family's residence on Neptune Avenue close to West 33rd Street, according to Corey. When authorities knocked on the door, no one replied, but the children's father was waiting for them inside voicing similar worries.
Surveillance video showed the mom walking from her apartment with her children after midnight. She held Oliver, and Zachary and Liliana walked beside her. The four were seen entering the boardwalk area of the beach around 12:50 am on Monday. Sources said that just 45 minutes later, Merdy was seen on surveillance footage again near West 8th Street and Riegalman Boardwalk West, but this time without her children, according to New York Post.
The 30-year-old was suffering from bipolar schizophrenia, relatives and police sources told the outlet. Sources also claimed that she may also have been suffering from postpartum depression, law enforcement. Cops are now trying to determine if her mental issues, especially postpartum psychosis, brought on by postpartum depression, were a factor in the children's murders.
Due to Merdy's failure to take the children to school, the city Administration for Children's Services received at least two reports of neglect against her; however, the outcome of those reports is currently unknown, according to previous information from law enforcement sources. Derrick Merdy, an air traffic controller in Virginia, the father of young Zachary, told the New York Times that his son frequently showed up for required custody visits dirty and hungry. He claimed to have made unsuccessful attempts to gain full custody of their son after filing a complaint about the mother with "child protective services."
Corey reported that police had flooded the path, the beach, and the nearby streets for nearly 90 minutes before they received another 911 call instructing them to go to the Brighton Beach boardwalk next to Beach 6th Street. Police found the mother of the children there, but no children were present, according to Corey. Three blocks from their home, the harbor, and aviation unit of the NYPD searched the sand and the water for the three children before making the tragic discovery of their lifeless bodies on the shoreline near West 35th Street at 4.40 am. The Coney Island Hospital tried to save them, but it was too late.