NEW YORK — It was a dream turned into a nightmare.
A Coney Island mom was charged Wednesday with murder in the devastating drowning deaths of her three small children two days earlier, with her 4-year-old daughter likely left bruised when the suspect held her down in the Atlantic Ocean, authorities said.
When asked what happened, 30-year-old Erin Merdy alluded to dreaming about walking her kids into the water, according to a police source. The children, including a 7-year-old son and a 3-month-old boy, were later found on the beach about 90 minutes after Merdy was found.
“The babies are gone,” she told family members in the early morning darkness Monday. “The kids are gone.”
Merdy faces additional charges of depraved indifference to human life and endangering the welfare of child in the killings, cops said.
Her children were found unconscious near the shoreline of Coney Island Beach during the overnight search.
Merdy’s children, Zachary, 7, Liliana, 4 and Oliver, 3 months, all died after being rushed by medics to Coney Island Hospital.
The tragic discovery was made after police responded to a 1:40 a.m. 911 call from Merdy’s sister. Merdy had told a cousin she drowned all three kids at the beach, according to a police source.
Merdy had been hospitalized and underwent a psychological examination Monday.
Her mother, Jacqueline Scott, 56, told the New York Daily News that her daughter had been going through a rough time.
“She might have been going through postpartum depression,” Scott said in an exclusive interview. “She was a good mother.”
Merdy worked as a home health attendant, but had taken time off recently to care for Oliver. She lived with her children in a Coney Island apartment building on Neptune Avenue, where she was being sued by her landlord, court records show.
The woman stopped paying her $1,531 monthly rent in July 2021. In October 2021, the company that owns her building sent her a letter requesting the $5,373 owed in back rent.
Merdy was sued five months later for back rent and issued an eviction notice days before the COVID-19 eviction moratorium expired in January of this year.