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Police believe 3 children drowned by mother at NYC beach

NYPD briefing after 3 children die in drowning incident on Coney Island
NYPD briefing after 3 children die in drowning incident on Coney Island 04:40

Three young children have died after being found on a Coney Island beach early Monday morning, according to the New York City Police Department. Authorities said the children's mother, identified as a 30-year-old woman, was taken into custody for questioning following two 911 calls that ultimately led them to the children around 4:30 a.m. eastern time.

The children, who are 7 years old, 4 years old, and 3 months old, according to police, were unconscious and in critical condition when officers arrived, a spokesperson for NYPD confirmed to CBS News. The spokesperson said police had previously received a call from someone who suggested that their mother may have drowned them. 

At a news conference later on Monday, authorities confirmed that all three children were transferred to a hospital where they were pronounced dead. NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey explained that police initially received a 911 call at around 1:40 a.m. from a concerned family member, CBS New York reported.

"The caller indicated that she was concerned her family member may have harmed her three small children," said Corey. He added that police were dispatched to the woman's Coney Island apartment building, where a man believed to be the children's father shared similar concerns and told officers that the woman and children could be on the boardwalk nearby, according to CBS New York. 

Officers then received a second call at around 3 a.m., after searching the residence for more than an hour. Corey said the woman was found drenched and barefoot, and her children were not with her.

"At about 4:42 this morning, the officers discovered three children, a 7-year-old male, a 4-year-old female, and another female who's approximately three and half months old, on the shoreline here at the water's edge on West 35th Street in Coney Island," Corey said, per CBS New York.

Authorities have not found evidence that the deceased children were previously abused or neglected, the police chief said. Charges remain pending against the woman believed to be their mother, according to the Associated Press.

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