NYPD investigators gather evidence Monday on a Coney Island beach...

NYPD investigators gather evidence Monday on a Coney Island beach after three children were found unconcious in nearby surf and later pronounced dead. The children's mother was charged with murder Wednesday in connection with their deaths, the NYPD said.

Credit: Jeff Bachner

A Brooklyn woman whose three children drowned in the surf off Coney Island earlier this week was charged Wednesday with multiple counts of murder in their deaths, police said.

Erin Merdy, 30, faces a total of nine charges — three of second-degree intentional murder, three of depraved indifference murder and three of murder involving a victim under the age of 11, said NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig.

The children — Zachary Merdy, 7, Lilana Merdy, 4, and Oliver Bondarev, 3 months — were found unconscious in the surf early Monday and pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital after a 911 call from Merdy’s relatives that she said she might harm the children, and an intense police search. The city medical examiner ruled that the children died by drowning.

Essig told reporters Wednesday that Merdy had related to police after she was first questioned that she had dreamed about being in the surf with the children. But she didn’t confess to the slayings and as of late Wednesday was being held for observation at Lincoln Hospital, he said.

“She made statements to the relatives that the babies are gone, and that kids are gone,” noted Essig. “When we spoke to her she made statements alluding to dreaming of having the kids in the water. Other than that she really has no arrest history.”

“We believe she went into the water and drowned the kids,” Essig said. Initially, Erin Merdy underwent a psychological evaluation after being taken into custody Monday.

Cops remained puzzled Wednesday over a motive for the crime and were “leaving it up to the [mental] health care professionals.” Essig said.

The only child with signs of physical trauma was the eldest son, who had some bruising which could have been from Merdy holding him under the water, according to the chief.

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