NEW YORK — The Coney Island mother who was believed to have drowned her three children has been charged with their murders.
Erin Merdy, 30, who faces three counts, allegedly drowned them at a Coney Island beach on Monday morning.
Merdy is accused of killing 7-year-old Zachary, 4-year-old Lilana and 3-month-old Oliver.
When she was arrested, police say she was rambling and incoherent, telling them that she “had dreams of the babies in the water” and “imagined walking the kids into the water.” She had told family members, “The babies are gone.”
People in her Coney Island neighborhood told CBS2’s Dick Brennan they’re still in shock.
“It is sad, very sad. Very sad when something like that happens, kids, young kids dying,” Frank Baptiste said.
“It’s pretty sad because she really, I felt like she had postpartum or mental illness, but whatever the case may be, it’s really depressing because the kids should never have to go through that,” Tiffany Gadson said.
Now, police say that the city’s Administration for Children’s Services had opened an investigation into the mother two years ago after a boyfriend said she wasn’t sending her children to school. It was not deemed a criminal matter, however, and the mother had no history of arrest.
A second ACS complaint in April of this year alleged a mother’s boyfriend slapped the 7-year-old child, but the agency found no evidence of abuse.
In a statement, the ACS told CBS2, “We are investigating this tragedy with the NYPD.”
People in the family’s neighborhood want to hear more about what the ACS did.
“Someone’s not doing their job, pretty much. She’s going through the system. She’s falling right through the system,” Gadson said.
Police. She has been taken to a psychiatric ward at a hospital in Brooklyn, where she could be arraigned.
If you or someone you know may be experiencing postpartum depression, resources are available: