He Went to Work for 8 Hours. He Left His Babies in the Car

1-year-old Phoenix and Mariza died as temps soared; dad says he forgot they were in car
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2019 9:00 AM CDT
Dad Charged After Twin Babies Die in Hot Car
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/alika1712)

A terrible story out of the Bronx, where twin babies have died after being left in a hot car. Juan Rodriguez, 39, has been charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide after police say he left his infant son and daughter, said to be either 11 months or a year old, in his Honda Accord for eight hours while he was at his social worker job at James J. Peters VA Medical Center, CNN reports. Police say Rodriguez, from Rockland County, told them he got to work at around 8am, put in his shift, and came back out to the car to go home not long after 4pm, per the New York Post. It was then that he says he discovered what had happened to the babies, IDed as Phoenix and Mariza (also called Luna) Rodriguez.

Rodriguez told police he forgot they were in the car when he headed into work. A bystander called police after seeing Rodriguez screaming by the side of the road. When emergency medical service workers got there, the babies weren't breathing and were foaming at the mouth. They were pronounced dead at the scene. Temps in the New York City area peaked in the mid-80s on Friday, per the National Weather Service. "Any person is capable of forgetting a child in a car under circumstances where a parent is going through a routine and the child is in the back," a University of South Florida psychology professor tells NBC News. "All those components, if they come into play, a child can die." (More hot cars stories.)

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