CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn (WPIX) — Three young children died from apparent drowning early Monday in Brooklyn, and a woman believed to be their mother was questioned, according to the New York Police Department.
A four-year-old girl and two boys, one aged seven and the other as young as three months old, were rushed to the hospital after they were found laid out on a beach in Coney Island around 4:40 a.m. with signs of apparent drowning, officials said. They were initially listed in critical condition, but all ultimately died from 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 in Brighton Beach, some two miles away from the children, NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said in a Monday morning press 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 apartment, authorities said in the 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.
Over the next 90 minutes, police scoured the area until they received another 911 call directing them to the boardwalk. There, they found the woman with other family members but not the children, officials said.
NYPD aviation and harbor units joined the search, ultimately finding the three children on the beach. First responders tried to revive the children and rushed them to an area hospital, but all succumbed to their injuries.
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.