CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn (PIX11) — Classmates of a 4-year-old girl who drowned in Brooklyn released purple balloons into the air on Wednesday.
Lilana Merdy, 4, died on Monday along with her two siblings: 7-year-old Zachary Merdy and 3-month-old Oliver Bondarev. Their deaths were deemed homicides and police arrested their mom on murder charges.
“We have a lot of parents that chose to keep their children home during this time,” mental health consultant Queenisha Clark said. “They wanted to make sure that everything was ok. Some of the children were asking “well what happened? Where’s my friend? So it’s definitely impacted everybody.”
Clark said she’d worked with Lilana Merdy before the girl’s death.
“You have some students that show obvious indicators of child abuse, neglect. There were no obvious indicators,” she said.
The children’s bodies were found after a search that began when a relative dialed 911 at around 1 a.m. Monday and expressed concern that Erin Merdy had harmed her children. Officers searched the beach and the boardwalk in the dark, intensifying the hunt when Erin Merdy was discovered alone on the boardwalk.
The mom has undergone a psychiatric evaluation and remained in the hospital Wednesday, according to police. It wasn’t clear when she might be arraigned in court.