A Brooklyn woman is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison for allegedly drowning her three children in the ocean near their Coney Island home last month, officials said on Thursday.
Brooklyn resident Erin Merdy, 30, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, and nine counts of second-degree murder, and is being held without parole if convicted of the top charge.
“These innocent young children had their entire lives ahead of them when their own mother allegedly drowned and left them on a Coney Island beach,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. “This is a shocking and unspeakable crime, and with this prosecution, we will seek justice.”
The DA’s investigation found that at 12:37 a.m. on September 12th, Merdy took her three kids – 7-year-old Zachary Merdy, 4-year-old Liliana Stephens Merdy and 3-month-old Oliver Bondarev – to the beach near Coney Island’s West 35th Street and drowned them in the ocean. One hour later, she began walking to the apartment of the youngest child’s father, more than two miles away, the DA said.
Merdy called family members in an upset state, and after refusing to answer questions about her children’s whereabouts, relatives went looking for her and called 911, according to the investigation.
Police launched a search and the children were found at 4:30 a.m. and taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead. Merdy was found by relatives soaking wet and barefoot, and said her children were gone, and she was sorry, the DA’sinvestigation found.
Merdy’s attorney did not comment.