Three children, including a 3-month-old, were found unconscious on a beach in Coney Island early Monday and later died after their mother was found on the boardwalk barefoot and wet in a “disturbed state,” police in New York City said.
Officers went to the home of a woman, described as a mother of three, on Neptune Avenue in Brooklyn before 2 a.m. after receiving a 911 call from a family member who was worried the mother may have harmed her children, NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said Monday morning at a news briefing.
Officers received no answer but found a man in the building who identified himself as the father of one of the children and expressed similar concerns. He told officers he believed the mother and the children were on the Coney Island boardwalk.
A family member called police at 3:13 a.m., saying the woman had been found in a “disturbed state” on the boardwalk near Brighton 6th Street and Riegelmann Boardwalk, police said.
Corey said she was found barefoot and soaking wet, but it's unclear if she was wet because of rain or if she had been in the water.
The woman, 30, was found with other family but not her children.
The children — a 7-year-old boy, a 4-year-old girl and a 3½-month-old girl — were later found unconscious at about 4:42 a.m. at the water’s edge at West 35th Street in Coney Island, about two miles from where the mother was found.
Officers began performing CPR and the children were taken to Coney Island Hospital, where they were pronounced dead. Their names have not been released.
Police are investigating if the mother drowned the children.
Corey said the investigation is active and authorities are asking for witnesses to come forward and shed light on what happened.
Based on preliminary information, “there is no indication of prior history of abuse and neglect of these children,” he said.
The mother was with detectives at the 60th Precinct stationhouse, but "so far she has not said anything," Corey said.