Three children found dead on Coney Island beach after frantic search, mother held for drowning them

The children, a 3-month-old girl, a 4-year-old girl, and a 7-year-old boy, were found unconscious and later declared dead

Three children found dead on Coney Island beach after frantic search, mother held for drowning them
NYPD's Aviation and Harbor teams assisted in scouring the region for the missing children (CBS New York/YouTube Screenshot)
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BROOKLYN, NEW YORK: Police are now investigating whether a mother drowned her three small children after discovering them unconscious on Coney Island beach early Monday. The children, a 3-month-old girl, a 4-year-old girl, and a 7-year-old boy, were found at 4:40 in the morning, near the water's edge on the beach at West 35th Street, according to the authorities. They were declared dead at the hospital.

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Police said that their 30-year-old mother was 2 miles away and seemed "despondent." She was transported for interrogation to the 60th Precinct. “The mother was soaking wet,” said NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey. “Whether she had been out in the rain or whether she had been in the water, again, is all speculative at this point. She was wet, she was barefoot, and she was not communicative to the officers.”

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According to 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.

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According to Corey, he "voiced similar worries" and stated that he thought the woman and her children were on the Coney Island beach. “I believe that she had called them and made statements to them to that effect,” Corey said when asked why the family members believed the woman would harm her kids. 

Before receiving another 911 call telling them to go to the Brighton Beach boardwalk next to Beach 6th Street, Corey stated that police had flooded the path, the beach, and the nearby streets for nearly 90 minutes. Cops discovered the kids' mother there, but none of the children was there, according to Corey. According to the police officer, the search "intensified" as the NYPD's Aviation and Harbor teams assisted in scouring the region for the missing children. About two miles from where their mother was located, investigators made the tragic discovery.

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“The officers immediately initiated life-saving measures including CPR on the children, and they were rushed to Coney Island Hospital, where they were regrettably pronounced deceased,” Corey said. Distressing photos show first responders carrying the children in their arms. No charges were immediately filed, and police were still investigating what happened hours later.

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“So right now we are looking for witnesses,” Corey said. “We don’t know exactly what happened here yet…. We’re going to try to piece this all together.” Preliminarily, there are no records of abuse or neglect of the three children, Corey said. 

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