Brooklyn woman accused of drowning her three children in the ocean off Coney Island was arraigned on murder charges Friday
Judge ordered Erin Merdy, 30, held without bail during the brief arraignment at NYU Langone-Brooklyn hospital
Merdy has been undergoing a psychiatric evaluation Langone-Brooklyn
The mom-of-three allegedly drowned her children, 7-year-old Zachary, 4-year-old Liliana and 3-month-old Oliver in the surf in the wee hours on Monday morning
She was charged Wednesday with the murders of Zachary, Liliana and Oliver
With eyes closed, Merdy whispered her responses to the judge’s question from the hospital
The judge ordered her continued remand at the facility
The troubled Brooklyn woman charged Wednesday with drowning her three children in the ocean off Coney Island earlier in the week, was arraigned for triple-homicide on Friday.
A judge ordered Erin Merdy, 30, held without bail during the brief arraignment at NYU Langone-Brooklyn, where she’d been undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. Merdy allegedly drowned her children, 7-year-old Zachary, 4-year-old Liliana and 3-month-old Oliver in the surf in the wee hours on Monday morning.
A a video feed from the arraignment showed Merdy with her eyes closed, whispering her responses to the judge’s question as she leaned over in her bed dressed in a yellow hospital gown,
The Judge granted the request of her public defender that his client be kept in protective custody as the case continues.
Merdy’s panicked sister and aunt called police at about 1 a.m. Monday after she called them, claiming that the “babies were gone,” police said.
Responding officers found Merdy, wet and barefoot, wandering alone along the Coney Island Boardwalk at about 3:15 a.m. A short time later, cops found her children dead in the water.
Merdy was incoherent when questioned by police, but she did allude to a dream she had where she had taken her children into the water, police said.
Surveillance footage recovered by police showed Merdy walking to the beach with her three children before they died, according to court records.
The autopsy report confirmed that the children had been drowned.
Merdy’s mother Jacqueline Scott on Monday expressed belief that her daughter might be suffering from postpartum depression. Other family members described the 30-year-old single mom of three as having problems coping and her struggles with mental health issues.
She was served with an eviction notice on Jan. 12 claiming she was more than $5,000 behind in payments on her $1,531 monthly rent.
Little Zachary’s football coach said the boy regularly arrived for team practices hungry until he left the squad last year.
The boy’s disinterested mom rarely attended games to watch her son play and often left early when she bothered to show up, said Coney Island Training Youth Program head coach Allen McFarland.
Merdy worked as a home health attendant, but had taken time off recently to care for her three-month-old infant son Oliver.
“I know sometimes she would not get along with the baby’s father,” her mother Jacqueline Scott said. “Sometimes she would have arguments with him. I don’t know if he had last words with her or what.
“I don’t see her as doing something like this,” the stunned grandmother added. “I hope she gets the help she needs … I don’t know what happened to make her do that.”
After Erin Merdy, who was charged with triple-homicide on Wednesday for the drowning deaths of her 7-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter and 3-month-old son, a the source close to City administration said the 30-year-old “fell through the cracks.”
The city’s Administration for Children’s Services investigated Merdy after a father of one of the children reported that the kids weren’t going to school a few weeks before the children were killed, a source with knowledge of the case said.
Sources close to the case, say NYC child welfare monitors botched their handling of the struggling Brooklyn mom who ultimately wound up drowning her three children off Coney Island beach early in the week.
“Her [youngest] baby was born in May and she was discharged from [ACS] services on July 15,” the source said.
“Someone in the Family Services Unit discharged her when they shouldn’t have. At the very least, a psych exam should have been done, and that wasn’t done.”
4-year-old Liliana’s dad, Shamir Small, believed his daughter “was in good hand”.
“I didn’t see this coming,” he said on Wednesday night.
“This is a complete shock.”
Merdy lived with her children in a Coney Island apartment building on Neptune Ave., where she was being sued by her landlord, court records show.
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. She stopped paying her $1,531 monthly rent in July last year. In October the company that owns her building sent her a letter requesting the $5,373 owed in back rent.
Hundreds of people attended a wake for Zachary and Liliana Thursday. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez was among the mourners.