Coney Island Beach: What We Know About the Death of 3 Children Found in Brooklyn


New York
CNN

Authorities are investigating the deaths of three children who were found unresponsive along the New York City shoreline early Monday after a family member raised concerns for their safety.

The children — a 7-year-old boy, a 4-year-old girl and a 3-and-a-half-month-old girl — were found around 4:42 a.m. on Coney Island in Brooklyn, the New York police chief said. of Kenneth Corey Department.

A 30-year-old woman who police say is the mother of the children was given a psychiatric evaluation at a hospital on Tuesday morning, a law enforcement officer said.

She had been questioned by police and then hospitalized after they were found Monday morning in Brighton Beach, adjacent to Coney Island, authorities said. She has not been charged with any crime, police said, and authorities have not disclosed her condition.

All three children were pronounced dead after first responders took life-saving measures, including CPR, Corey added.

“We don’t know exactly what happened here,” Corey said at a news conference Monday, stressing that the information was preliminary.

There is currently no indication of previous abuse or neglect of the children, authorities noted.

As researchers summarize exactly what happened to the children and the woman, here’s what we know about how the events unfolded:

Police received a 911 call at 1:40 a.m. Monday from someone concerned that a “family member may have harmed her three small children,” Corey said. The caller asked the police to check the woman’s apartment in Coney Island.

When police arrived at the apartment, a man who identified himself as the father of one of the three children said he was also concerned, Corey added. The man told police he believed the woman and three children were on a Coney Island boardwalk.

For about 90 minutes, police officers searched beaches, streets and a local hospital. Then came another 911 call that directed officers to a specific location: Brighton 6th Street and Riegelmann Boardwalk in nearby Brighton Beach.

The caller reported a woman who was despondent, a police spokesman told CNN.

When officers arrived, they found the woman and other family members with her. The children were not there.

The search continued through ground, air and port units. At about 4:42 a.m., officers found the children unconscious on the shoreline at West 35th Street in Coney Island, Corey said.

The Coney Island site where the children were found is about 2 miles from where the woman was found – and just half a mile south of her apartment.

She was “wet” when researchers contacted her, said Corey, who noted it wasn’t clear whether she’d been in the rain or in the water offshore.

On Tuesday morning, on the shoreline where the children were found, there was nothing to be seen of what had happened the day before – no crime scene tape, no police presence – as only a few people walked along the beach and on the boardwalk.

The woman’s apartment is in a building of about 20 stories, a few blocks to the north, across the street from an elementary school and near a small shopping center, grocery store, dental implant center and pharmacy.

Leslie Torres, 33, who works near the building, always saw the 4-year-old girl playing outside with others. Torres knew nothing about the boy, but the woman was often with the baby and the 4-year-old, Torres said Tuesday.

“We used to see them play here. We would give them popsicles. They were good kids,” said Torres, who works at a home care assistant school behind the apartment building.

A resident of the building, Jessica Joubert, lit a prayer candle there on Tuesday and pasted it on a wall with the names of the children and some artificial flowers.

She had seen the children before, she said.

“I see them running in and out all the time and, you know, very, very happy kids,” Joubert said. “We’re very heartbroken, you know, because nobody wants this to happen to someone’s child.”

The 7-year-old boy was a kind, generous person with a special humility about him, his father told CNN on Tuesday morning.

“Anyone who has met my son would know he is special,” said the father, Derrick Merdy.

He loved the video game character Sonic the Hedgehog. “I think I spent so much money buying it piece by piece,” Merdy said.

The boy “had a humility about him that I can’t even imitate, and I’m going to do my best to live the life he did because he was so kind and generous,” the father said.

“He would be great.”

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