A father was charged in the deaths of his 1-year-old twins, who he forgot in the car while he went to work, police said Saturday.
Juan Rodriguez, 39, of Congers, was charged with two counts of manslaughter and two counts of negligent homicide, the NYPD said.
He pleaded not guilty, saying that leaving the babies in the car was unintentional. Bail was set at $100,000 or $50,000 cash.
The children, 1-year-old twin boy and girl Phoenix and Mariza Rodriguez, were in the back seat of their father's Honda as he left for work 8 a.m. Friday, according to police.
The father parked in an employee lot at the Fordham Manor VA Hospital where he works as a social worker, and didn’t realize his children were in there until after he left for the day around 4:30 p.m., cops said — meaning the children were stuck in the car for around 8 hours.
The father began driving home when he saw the kids in the backseat, an FDNY official said. He immediately pulled over just blocks away from where he works and called 911, fire officials said.
First responders found the man with his car near the intersection of West Kingsbridge Road and Kingsbridge Terrace. The children were foaming at the mouth when they arrived, a source with the FDNY told News 4, and the first responders tried to perform CPR. The children were later pronounced dead.
City councilman Fernando Cabrera called for support of several efforts to prevent hot car deaths, including educational campaigns and technology to remind parents that kids are still in a car.
“My heart is broken,” Cabrera said. “Two innocent babies lost their lives, dying from heat in a parked car at a major facility in an area of heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This happens far too often, even with caring parents who cannot explain why it happened.”
A cause of death has not yet been determined by the medical examiner.
An investigation is ongoing.