A mentally disturbed mom was in custody after her three young children drowned early Monday at a beach on New York City’s famous Coney Island.
The unidentified, 30-year-old mother was being questioned by police but had not yet been charged in the incident. Her children, a 3-month-old boy, a 4-year-old girl, and a 7-year-old boy all drowned in the wee hours of Monday morning.
Police were trying to determine if the drownings were intentional, according to the New York Post.
Police responded to the boardwalk along Brighton Beach around 3 a.m. after a relative called 911 to report that a woman may have drowned her kids, authorities said.
“The caller indicated she was concerned that her family member may have harmed her three small children,” NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said.
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When police went to the woman’s nearby apartment building, a man identified as the father of one of the children told them he was worried, as well.
The mother was found wandering barefoot and wet along the boardwalk yelling about her missing kids, according to 1010 WINS radio station. She directed police to the location some two miles away where the children were found.
The unresponsive children were all pronounced dead at nearby Coney Island Hospital. The Post published heartbreaking photos of first responders carrying the lifeless children in their arms.
The children’s mother was described as “despondent,” and was taken to the 60th Precinct for further investigation. No charges were immediately filed.
“So far, she’s not said anything,” Corey said.
The case is reminiscent of a 1994 incident in which Susan Smith intentionally drowned her two sons, three-year-old Michael and 14-month-old Alexander, in a South Carolina lake. Smith is serving a life sentence for the murders, but is eligible for parole in 2024.