FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 6, 2022
Brooklyn Mother Indicted for Killing her Three Children
Allegedly Drowned Children in the Ocean off the Coney Island Boardwalk
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brooklyn woman has been indicted on first-degree murder and related charges for allegedly drowning her three children – who were 3 months old, 4-years-old, and 7-years-old – in the ocean near their home in Coney Island.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “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. This is a shocking and unspeakable crime, and with this prosecution, we will seek justice.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Erin Merdy, 30, of Coney Island, Brooklyn. She was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which she is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and nine counts of second-degree murder. The defendant is facing a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole if convicted of the top count. She is being held without bail and was ordered to return to court on November 30, 2022.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on September 12, 2022, at approximately 12:37 a.m., the defendant allegedly took her three kids – Zachary Merdy, 7, Liliana Stephens Merdy, 4, and Oliver Bondarev, 3 months – to the beach near West 35th Street in Coney Island and drowned them in the ocean.
At approximately 1:25 a.m., she began walking from the beach, alone, towards the apartment of the father of the youngest child, located in Brighton Beach, over two miles away. The defendant called family members upset, and when she would not answer questions regarding the whereabouts of her children, relatives and the father went to look for her and called 911.
The police initiated a search and, at about 4:30 a.m., located the children, who were unresponsive and wet, on the shoreline near West 35th Street. They were pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital. When the defendant’s family members found her in Brighton Beach wet and barefoot, she repeatedly said that the children were gone and that she was sorry, according to the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ernest Chin, Deputy Bureau Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Jhounelle Cunningham, also of the Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Leila Rosini, Homicide Bureau Chief.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.