No charges in deaths of 3 New York kids found on Coney Island beach, mother hospitalized for evaluation

By | September 13, 2022

Still no charges have come as of Tuesday in connection to the deaths of three children found unresponsive on a New York City beach, as the kids’ mother reportedly remains hospitalized. 

The NYPD identified the three deceased children found Monday along the Coney Island shoreline as 7-year-old Zachary Merdy, 4-year-old Lilana Merdy and 3-month-old Oliver Bondarev. 

The siblings’ mother, Erin Merdy, who was initially brought in for questioning over the suspected drownings of her kids, was hospitalized for evaluation as of late Monday, WNBC reported.

As of Tuesday afternoon, an NYPD spokeswoman told Fox News Digital that there were no updates in the case, and still no charges against the mother or anyone else had been filed. 


NYPD first responded to an apartment on Neptune Ave. in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, where the three children lived with their mother, at approximately 1:40 a.m. on Monday.

A 911 caller at a different location — reportedly Erin Merdy’s cousin — told operators that the woman expressed that she might harm the children in her care, police said. 

No one responded to knocks on the door, but the father of at least one of the children met officers in the building and expressed similar concerns, saying he believed the woman and three kids were somewhere on the Coney Island boardwalk, police said. 

Officers found 30-year-old Merdy, whose family claims has a history of mental illness, soaking wet and barefoot near the boardwalk with other family members but not the three children. She was not communicative with officers. Police intensified their search, launching aviation and harbor units, until the children were found unconscious, approximately two miles away. 

First responders attempted life-saving measures, including CPR, and rushed the children to Coney Island Hospital, where they were pronounced deceased, police said.

Police said there initially was no indication or prior recorded history of abuse or neglect of children. 

N.Y. Daily News reported that 7-year-old Zachary Merdy’s former football coach recalled the boy often showing up to practice hungry. 

Coney Island Training Youth Program head coach Allen McFarland said that he used to show up to Merdy’s building to walk the grade-schooler over to practice. He said he attempted to get the boy to join the team again this year, but the mother declined.

N.Y. Daily News, citing court documents, also reported that Erin Merdy was behind on rent and facing potential eviction from the apartment where she lived with the three kids.