atlantic city

Depressed Mother Throws Baby Girl, Herself Into Atlantic City Inlet: Family

The family of an South Jersey mother claims she suffered from postpartum depression when she threw her 1-month-old girl into the Atlantic City Inlet before jumping in herself.

"People that don't understand what she was going through and they are saying nasty things about her, they just need to walk in her shoes," said Debbie Shurig.

Two fishermen, police and firefighters helped rescue Debbie Shurig's daughter Patricia Shurig and granddaughter from the water Sunday evening.

"I said, 'I'm going to go in for you,'" said fisherman Luis Ortiz.

A retired firefighter also came to the rescue, performing CPR to revive the little girl named Krishna.

Both Shurig -- who also has a 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter -- and her infant daughter remained at AtlanticCare Regional Medical Center Monday -- the 1-month-old baby doing well despite her brush with death, according to family.

Atlantic City Police received a call shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday after a group of fishermen standing near the Flagship Hotel on North Maine Avenue spotted a woman with a baby acting "unusual" near the inlet at Pacific Avenue.

"We saw the lady walking to the rocks with the baby," said Jose Matos. "So my nephew asked her where she was going with the baby. She didn't say anything and just kept walking."

According to the fishermen, the woman, later identified as 24-year-old Patricia Shurig, threw Krishna into the inlet then jumped in as well.

"Under normal circumstances, I can't imagine her doing anything like this," said Debbie Shurig.

"I don't know why she did not reach out to family."

Luckily for the Shurig family, the fishermen and retired Atlantic City firefighter Thomas Bell happened to be on the jetty at the time.

"The lady handed me the baby," Bell said. "I did two mouth breathes and turned her over and patted her on the back. She spit up a lot of water. Then I just ran down the jetty and gave her to the EMS people."

"Thank God they were there," said Debbie Shurig. "I'm so happy that they were there because neither one of them would be here today if they weren't."

Authorities charged Shurig with aggravated assault with additional charges possible. She remained under police supervision at the hospital Monday.

Shurig's family is grateful she can now get help.

"I don't want people to think poorly of her because of her mental illness," said the suspect's sister Amanda Husta. "I definitely want them to be understanding of the situation."

Shurig's other two children remained with family Monday.

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