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Woman accused of drowning faces deportation of her child, custody battle


One Brooklyn The mother accused of killing her three children is facing deportation as well as a custody battle and mental health issues that led to their tragic deaths on Monday.

Erin Merdy, 30, of Coney Island, is said to have owed more than $10,000 in rent for the Neptune Avenue apartment where she lives with her children – 3-month-old Oliver, 4-year-old Liliana and 7-year-old Zachary – and has been threatened with deportation since January after the COVID-19 deportation moratorium was lifted, according to New York Post.

Merdy stopped paying her $1,531-a-month rent last July and was served with an eviction notice before the moratorium expired, the Post cited court records.

Custody battle, evictions hit in large numbers as mother distraught over Monday’s tragedy, family says

Merdy’s uncle, Levy Stephen, also revealed his niece was in a custody dispute with Zachary’s father before Monday’s tragedy. Stephen said the boy’s father “had a problem with the way she raised” him after he was “off the grid”.

“He had a problem with the way she raised the child, from what I understand,” Levy said. “Then she left the net, changed her phone number. She’s not on social media – at least not to the extent that I can find her.”

Authorities said that at around 1 a.m. Monday, concerned relatives called police to report that Merdy was possibly intoxicated and may have done something to harm her baby. that. Hours later, police found her walking barefoot on Coney Island beach in a bathrobe.

Law enforcement sources told the Post that she told relatives she had “drowned all three children” before police arrived.

Her children’s bodies were pulled out of the water on the beach just three blocks from their home, and were eventually pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital.

Warning, graphic content below:

The family of a mother spoke out about her mental illness, saying they “knew she struggled”

Now, her family is speaking out about mental health issues among others, with an aunt, Dine Stephen, saying she “knew she was struggling” and her family ” have a history of mental illness”.

“I knew she was struggling with the meaning she was trying to find her way in life. In this family, we have a history of mental illness of varying degrees. A few of us have battled bipolar disorder, but I don’t know her mental struggles,” the aunt said.

The aunt added that while she was “trying to find a way for her child … mental problems took over.”

“I just knew she was trying to find a way for her baby, a way to walk on her own two feet. … It was the mental problems that took over. “

Another uncle, Eddy Stephen, told the Post he was “speechless” when he heard from relatives that “Erin killed three of his children”.

Police work along a beach on Coney Island, which is now a crime scene after a mother suspected of her child drowned at sea on September 12, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The three children were found unconscious on the beach near the Coney Island boardwalk early Monday morning. Detectives are trying to question the mother at the local police home after she was picked up two miles down the boardwalk. (Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

Her uncle said Merry “did something a little crazy”, but it was “something that could do no harm to her children or herself.

“She did something a little crazy, but nothing could harm her children or herself,” Eddy told the outlet.

The aunts and uncles said that the young mother was “drinking a little”, did not seem stable

When asked about Merdy’s drug habits, Eddy said she “goes out partying, drinks a little,” but he doesn’t see any drug abuse “or sees that she really does. irresponsible”.

“She used to enjoy partying, drinking, but I didn’t see her abuse drugs or find her really irresponsible. It’s just a tragedy. I do not know. She never gave us any indication that she would hurt her child. She loves her children.”

And another uncle, Jean Stephen, 64, told the Post that Merdy doesn’t handle relationships well and doesn’t seem to “have a life together” while adding that she “seems unstable”.

“I don’t think she can handle a relationship or anything like that. She doesn’t seem to be that kind of person. She doesn’t seem to be stable,” the relative said.

Police work along a beach on Coney Island, which is now a crime scene after a mother suspected of her child drowned at sea on September 12, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The three children were found unconscious on the beach near the Coney Island boardwalk early Monday morning. Detectives are trying to question the mother at the local police home after she was picked up two miles down the boardwalk. (Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

Mom couldn’t bring her son to a recent custody exchange, pulled him out of the youth soccer team before his death

The third uncle, Levy Stephen, sheds a little more light on the timeline behind Merdy’s mental health troubles.

He said the two used to be in touch “all the time,” but in 2015 or 2016, “she disappeared off the face of the earth.” Levy says that “now, (he) is blaming himself” for not trying to contact her, and wonders if he could have avoided the tragedy.

“There was a time when Erin and I were in constant contact, but in 2015, 2016 she disappeared from Earth. I don’t know how to contact her,” Merdy’s uncle, Levy Stephen, told the Post.

“Now I’m blaming myself for that. She clearly needs help, and you can’t help thinking, ‘Maybe I can have…’”

Law enforcement sources said in July Merdy did not bring her son to the custody exchange before a scheduled six-week visit with the child’s father.

And in May, Merdy withdrew the boy from his youth team without any explanation, according to his coach Allen McFarland, who said that “she seemed to juggle a lot. “

McFarland announced the news of Zachary’s death to his former teammates during practice Monday night, the Post reported. During the final farewell, the young footballers released balloons carrying Zachary’s number 15 shirt into the air and shouted “Zachary, we love you.”



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