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

September 14, 2022 GMT
FILE - Crime scene tape stretches across a section of the Coney Island boardwalk near a stretch of beach where three children were found dead in the surf, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in New York. Authorities have confirmed that the children died by drowning. (AP Photo/Joseph Frederick, File)
FILE - Crime scene tape stretches across a section of the Coney Island boardwalk near a stretch of beach where three children were found dead in the surf, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in New York. Authorities have confirmed that the children died by drowning. (AP Photo/Joseph Frederick, File)
FILE - Crime scene tape stretches across a section of the Coney Island boardwalk near a stretch of beach where three children were found dead in the surf, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in New York. Authorities have confirmed that the children died by drowning. (AP Photo/Joseph Frederick, File)
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FILE - Crime scene tape stretches across a section of the Coney Island boardwalk near a stretch of beach where three children were found dead in the surf, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in New York. Authorities have confirmed that the children died by drowning. (AP Photo/Joseph Frederick, File)
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FILE - Crime scene tape stretches across a section of the Coney Island boardwalk near a stretch of beach where three children were found dead in the surf, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in New York. Authorities have confirmed that the children died by drowning. (AP Photo/Joseph Frederick, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s medical examiner confirmed Tuesday that the deaths of three children found on the shoreline near Brooklyn’s famed Coney Island boardwalk were homicides by drowning.

Their mother, identified by family members as 30-year-old Erin Merdy, remained in police custody. No charges had been filed as of late Tuesday.

Zachary Merdy, 7, Lilana Merdy, 4, and Oliver Bondarev, 3 months old, were found early Monday after a nearly three-hour search that began when a relative called police, worried the woman intended to harm her children. They were pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

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.