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Coney Island mom indicted on first degree murder charges for allegedly drowning her three children

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Police at the scene of the triple-drowning on Sept. 12, 2022.
File Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

The Coney Island mom accused of drowning her three children last month has been hit with first-degree murder charges that could land her in prison for the rest of her life, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced Thursday.

Erin Merdy, 30, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and nine counts of second-degree murder for the Sept. 12 incident, wherein she allegedly drowned her three young children — 7-year-old Zachary, 4-year-old Liliana, and 3-month-old Oliver — in the ocean off the beach at Coney Island. If convicted, she could face life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

“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,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “This is a shocking and unspeakable crime, and with this prosecution, we will seek justice.”

Merdy allegedly brought her three children to the beach after midnight on Sept. 12 and drowned them in the surf, after which she began walking to Brighton Beach. Police found the children unresponsive at about 4:30 a.m., and all three were pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital that day. Merdy, meanwhile, was found wet and barefoot in Brighton Beach by concerned relatives, saying that the children were gone.

The mom was arrested and has been held without bail since receiving treatment at the hospital. She’s due back in court on Nov. 30.

Merdy may have been suffering from post-partum depression and had a history of schizophrenia, the New York Post previously reported. She was also being evicted from her Neptune Avenue apartment and was facing a custody battle for the kids. Relatives said she had been facing mental health struggles in recent years, while neighbors said that there was a constant hum of yelling and crying coming from her apartment.

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