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Sources: Investigators believe Coney Island mom who may have drowned her 3 children was suffering from postpartum depression

Sources: Mom believed to have drowned kids may have postpartum
Sources: Mom believed to have drowned kids may have postpartum 02:08

NEW YORK -- The Coney Island community is trying to come to terms with the deaths of three young children, possibly at the hands of their mother.

CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reports it's believed she was suffering from postpartum depression.

Candles flickered outside the apartment building on Neptune Avenue where the three children lived with their mother before police believe she drowned them at a Coney Island beach Monday morning.

READ MORE: 3 children dead after drowning incident on Coney Island, mother questioned and then hospitalized

Tuesday, parents picking up their children from school where the oldest boy attended are still coping with why.

"People need more assistance. They need more help out here," one person said.

"I can't believe it, why somebody do that," another person said.

A woman who works at a local grocery store says she talked regularly with the 30-year-old mother.

"I saw her last on Wednesday, and she seemed so fine with herself ... She didn't look depressed. She didn't look like she was suffering from anything. I don't know what came over her," the woman said.

The cashier says she was always with her children -- 7-year-old Zachary, 4-year-old Lilana and 3-month-old Oliver.

"All three of them, she love them so much, and she's always everywhere with them. She never left them behind. She's always with them. I don't know what happened to her," she said.

Sources say investigators believe the mother was under immense financial pressures. She had stopped paying rent and was facing legal action from her landlord. They also believe she was suffering from postpartum depression.

"One in seven new mothers will experience some form of postpartum or mood disorder. We have to really recognize that every mother is at risk," said Kimberly Seals Allers, a maternal infant health strategist.

Allers says sometimes it's hard to tell if someone is struggling.

"This idea that someone needs to be depressed and crying, and then that's their sign for help, but any kind of deviation from a normal pattern," she said.

She also says some mothers are afraid to ask for help out of fear they will be separated from their children.

"Black mothers often over-penalized, criminalized. They're having their children taken from them at disproportionate rates," Allers said.

According to police sources, the mother remains hospitalized and will undergo a psychiatric evaluation. So far, there are no criminal charges.

If you or someone you know may be experiencing postpartum depression, resources are available:

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