Twin babies have died after their father allegedly left them inside a roasting hot car while he went to work an eight-hour shift.
Juan Rodriguez, a social worker at the Veterans Association hospital, forgot his 1-year-old daughters, Luna and Phoenix, in the backseat of his Honda Accord, which was parked in The Bronx, in New York City on July 26.
The father-of-five came back to the vehicle at 4pm after completing his 8-hour shift and found his children dead and “foaming at the mouth”, the New York Post reports. Witnesses say he began screaming and a bystander called the police
Rodriguez told officers he’d forgotten to take the babies to their nursery and had not realised they were still inside the vehicle. He was arrested and has since been charged with two counts of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
The parents of the twins had only just thrown a big party to celebrate their first birthday, a neighbour said. A family friend, Temple Barrows, described Rodriguez as an “amazing guy” and said he was “always there for his kids”.
Neighbour Tony Caterino, 45, said: “This was just a horrible mistake. That one time you make a mistake and you have to live with it for the rest of your life. They were a great family. Always doing things with the kids, always in the yard playing. They had a big camp out last weekend with tents in the back yard. He would always play catch or basketball with his older kids.”