Brooklyn Boro

Deaths of 3 kids found on Coney Island beach ruled homicide; mom held

September 13, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Three children found dead on the beach near Brooklyn’s famed Coney Island boardwalk died by drowning, authorities confirmed Tuesday, as their mother remained in custody.

Seven-year-old Zachary Merdy; Lilana Merdy, 4, and 3-month-old Oliver Bondarev were found after a nearly three-hour search that began at 1:40 a.m. Monday when a relative called police, worried the woman intended to harm her children. They were pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The mother, identified by family members as 30-year-old Erin Merdy, was found 90 minutes later, barefoot and soaking wet, 2 miles (3 kilometers) down the boardwalk from the section of Coney Island where she lived.

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Merdy remained in custody, but no charges had been filed as of Tuesday evening.

On Tuesday, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner classified the deaths as homicides caused by drowning.

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