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Erin Merdy indicted on 1st-degree murder in Coney Island drownings


The Brooklyn mother accused of drowning her three small children off the Coney Island shoreline was indicted on murder charges Thursday in a case Brooklyn’s district attorney called an “unspeakable crime.”

Erin Merdy, 30, faces three counts of first-degree murder in the Sept. 12 deaths of Zachary Merdy, 7, Liliana Stephens Merdy, 4 and 3-month-old Oliver Bondarev, prosecutors said.

Erin Merdy is accused of killing her three kids when she drowned them in a Coney Island last month.
Erin Merdy is accused of killing her three kids when she drowned them in a Coney Island last month.
Paul Martinka

She also faces nine counts of second-degree murder, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.

“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,” DA Eric Gonzalez said in a statement.

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

Merdy was arraigned on the indictment in Brooklyn court and held without bail. She faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, if convicted of the top count.

Prosecutors allege Merdy, who has a history of mental health issues, took her three kids to the beach near West 35th Street in Coney Island at around 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 12 and drowned each of them in the ocean.

Roughly an hour later, she called relatives and was inconsolable as she walked to the apartment of her youngest child’s father about two miles away — but would not explain where the kids were, according to the DA’s Office.

Relatives and the dad frantically searched for Merdy, and called authorities for help before police found the children, soaked and unresponsive, around 4:30 a.m.

They were taken to Coney Island Hospital and pronounced dead.

The three children were remembered during a vigil last month.
The three children were remembered during a vigil last month.
Paul Martinka

Family members eventually found Merdy in Brighton Beach, wet and barefoot, according to prosecutors.

She repeatedly told her relatives the kids were gone and that she was sorry, prosecutors alleged.

Merdy’s loved ones told The Post that she had been dealing with a looming eviction from her apartment, battling over custody issues and facing mental health problems.  

“There was a time when Erin and I were in contact all the time, but in 2015, 2016, she disappeared off the Earth. I didn’t know how to get in touch with her,” Merdy’s uncle, Levy Stephen, told the Post last month.

Her next court date is Nov. 30.  



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