Brooklyn, NY – A New York woman found soaking wet and barefoot about 90 minutes before the bodies of her three young children were discovered on the beach near the Coney Island boardwalk has refused to speak with investigators.
The bodies of three children, a three-month-old girl, a four-year-old girl, and a seven-year-old boy, were found lying in the surf near the famous boardwalk at approximately 4:42 a.m. on Sept. 12, New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Department Kenneth Corey told reporters on Monday morning.
The incident began when NYPD officers responded to an apartment at 3325 Neptune Avenue after a family member at a different location called 911 to report she was worried that the three children may have been harmed by their mother, according to Chief Corey.
Officers arrived at the apartment at approximately 1:40 a.m., but they could not get anyone to come to the door, Chief Corey said.
Police said the door to the apartment had been left unlocked.
The father of one of the children went to the apartment and approached the officers, explaining he was also concerned that the kids were in danger, according to the chief.
The father said he believed the woman and the three children were on the Coney Island boardwalk.
A large-scale search for the children and their mother was immediately launched, Chief Corey said.
“That involved canvasing the boardwalk, the beach, the streets of Coney Island, Coney Island Hospital, and [the woman’s] own apartment,” the chief told reporters.
The NYPD received another 911 call approximately 90 minutes later directing them to the area of Brighton 6th Street and Riegelmann Boardwalk.
“At that location, the officers found a 30-year-old female believed to be the mother of the three children,” Chief Corey said. “She was accompanied by other family members, but not the three children.”
The chief said the woman, who sources said was wet, barefoot, and wearing a robe, did would not speak to police, the New York Post reported.
“So far, she has not said anything,” Chief Corey told reporters.
The frantic search for the missing kids intensified at that point, with aviation and boat units contributing to the effort.
Police also focused their attention on the shoreline.
They ultimately located the children lying at the water’s edge at West 35th Street and “immediately initiated lifesaving measures, including CPR,” Chief Corey said.
“They were rushed to Coney Island Hospital, where they were regrettably pronounced deceased,” he told reporters.
Chief Corey said there was no known prior history of abuse or neglect involving the woman or her children.
Their identities were not immediately released.
The investigation remained ongoing Monday morning.
Chief Corey said the children’s mother was taken in for questioning, but that she had not been charged with any crimes prior to the press conference.
Police sources said the woman told family members that she “drowned all three kids,” according to the New York Post.
Family members allegedly said she also had a history of mental health issues and that she was possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“Right now, we are looking for witnesses,” Chief Corey said. “We don’t know exactly what happened here yet. … We’re going to try to piece this all together.”