An early morning find has left the Coney Island community in shock after three little children were found dead on the beach.
According to Pix11, a girl, 4, and two boys, one 7 and the other as young as 3-months-old, were rushed to the hospital after they were found laid out on the beach near West 35th Street around 4:40 a.m. with signs of apparent drowning, officials said. They were initially listed in critical condition, but all ultimately succumbed to their injuries.
A 30-year-old woman presumed by police to be the children’s mother had previously been found “soaking wet” and barefoot on the Riegelmann Boardwalk near Brighton 6th Street in Brighton Beach, some two miles away from the children, NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said in the briefing. The woman, whose identity was not immediately released and who had not been charged with a crime, was being questioned by police early Monday, authorities said.
Concern began around 1:40 a.m. when a family member called 911 and said that she worried that the woman may have harmed the three children, sending police rushing to the woman’s Neptune Avenue apartment, authorities said in a Monday morning press briefing.
Officers found the apartment empty, but unlocked. Though no one was in the apartment, police encountered a man in the building who identified himself as the father of one of the children, and voiced similar fears that the woman might hurt them, police said.
Police searched for the family for about 90 minutes until they were called to the boardwalk by a family member. When they arrived they found the woman, presumed to be the children's mother, but no children. The woman was described as being "barefoot" and "soaking wet" but, they couldn't say whether she had been in the water or wet from rain.
NYPD aviation and harbor units joined the intense search, ultimately finding the three children on the beach near West 35th Street. First responders made valiant attempts to revive the children before they were rushed to an area hospital. Sadly, the all perished.
Police noted during the briefing that there was no immediate indication of prior abuse or neglect alleged against the woman. She was taken to an area police station for questioning, but was not immediately forthcoming, police said. She had not been charged with a crime as of Monday morning.
The NYPD asked anyone with information on the incident to contact investigators.