Coney Island mom charged with drowning kids not ‘medically cleared’ for arraignment: DA


The Brooklyn mom charged with drowning her three young children in Coney Island is not mentally stable enough to handle an arraignment on murder charges, the Brooklyn District Attorney said Thursday. 

Erin Merdy, 30, has been hospitalized at NYU Langone Brooklyn’s psychiatric ward since Monday morning and is not yet “medically cleared” to face the murder charges the NYPD hit her with on Wednesday, DA Eric Gonzalez said outside a wake for two of the children. 

“She’s not medically cleared for an arraignment, she can’t be arraigned either in person or bedside,” Gonzalez told The Post outside of the Caribe Funeral Home in Flatlands where an afternoon, open-casket wake was held for Zachary Merdy, 7 and Liliana Stephen, 4.

“She’s not free to leave the hospital. She’s not clear for visitors, she’s still medically contained. The next step would probably be presentation of evidence to the grand jury.” 

Gonzalez noted prosecutors have “180 hours” to present Merdy’s case to the grand jury and secure an indictment. If grand jurors vote to indict Merdy, she could be arraigned next week or the following in Brooklyn supreme court where she would be “present” to face the charges, Gonzalez said. 

The borough’s top prosecutor called the Monday tragedy a “heartbreaking incident” and said he attended the wake to pay his “respects” to the family. 

According to Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez, Erin Merdy is not mentally stable enough to handle the arraignment for allegedly murdering her three children in Coney Island.
According to Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez, Erin Merdy is not mentally stable enough to handle the arraignment for allegedly murdering her three children in Coney Island.
Paul Martinka for NY Post
Gonzalez attending the wake for the victims at Caribe Funeral home in Brooklyn on September 15, 2022.
Gonzalez attending the wake for the victims at Caribe Funeral home in Brooklyn on September 15, 2022.
Daniel William McKnight for NY Post

“Today it was important for me to come out here as a father and a parent and a fellow resident of the county to express my condolences to the family,” he said. 

Heartbroken relatives and loved ones gathered at the funeral home to remember the two slain kids but the mourners, some of whom were seen praying around the kids’ coffins, refused to speak about the horror and asked for privacy. 

Little Zachary’s father – Derrick Merdy – was spotted holding hands with a cluster of people in a circle. 

Police at the scene of where Merdy allegedly drowned her children  Zachary Merdy, 7, Liliana Stephen, 4, and three-month-old Oliver Bondarev on September 12, 2022.
Police at the scene of where Merdy allegedly drowned her children Zachary Merdy, 7, Liliana Stephen, 4, and three-month-old Oliver Bondarev on September 12, 2022.
Robert Mecea for NY Post
Merdy's daughter Liliana Stephen.
Merdy’s daughter Liliana Stephen, who was killed along with her half-brothers.

Merdy’s youngest child – three-month-old Oliver Bondarev, who was also allegedly drowned by his mother – was not present at Caribe. Details about his wake and funeral were not immediately clear. 

All three of the children have different fathers. 

Early Monday morning, Merdy left her Neptune Avenue apartment with her three children, walked them down to the sand and allegedly drowned them in the surf, law-enforcement sources said. 

When cops later found her two miles away near the Brighton Beach boardwalk, she was barefoot, soaking wet and traipsing through the sand in a bathrobe. 

A photograph of one of the slain children being brought into the wake.
A photograph of one of the slain children being brought into the wake.
Daniel William McKnight for NY Post

Relatives said prior to the incident, she’d been acting erratically and appeared delirious. They told police she suffered from mental health issues and may have been dealing with postpartum depression following the birth of her son Oliver. 

Merdy had at least two reports of neglect filed against her with the city Administration for Children’s Services for failing to bring the kids to school, but the disposition of the reports is unclear, law-enforcement sources said previously.

Zachary’s father told the New York Times his son was often dirty and hungry when he showed up for mandated custody visits.

He told the outlet he reported the mom to “child protective services” and attempted to get full custody of their son, to no avail. It’s not clear to which agency the father reported the mother.

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