Two twin babies have died after their father allegedly left them inside a roasting hot car while he went to work an eight-hour shift.
Luna and Phoenix, both one, were left in the backseat of Juan Rodriguez’s 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 shift as a social worker at the Veterans Association hospital. He then found the children dead and ‘foaming at the mouth’, the New York Post reports.Witnesses say he began screaming and a bystander called the police
Rodriguez was arrested and has since been charged with two counts of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
He reportedly told officers he’d forgotten to take the babies to their nursery and had not realised they were still inside the vehicle.
Temperatures outside were said to be around 30°C at the time of the incident, and even hotter inside the car where the twins were sat.
Their parents had only just thrown a big party to celebrate their first birthday, a neighbour said.
Family friend Temple Barrows, 41, described Rodriguez as an “amazing guy”, adding: “He’s always been there for his kids. Always. “This is just a horrible situation. The family isn’t doing so well.”
Devastated neighbours built a makeshift memorial of candles across the street from where the father pulled over the car and fell apart.
The dad has two older children from a previous marriage who also live at home.
A neighbour added: “It’s shocking. I know there are two little angels in heaven tonight.
“I hope they get a beautiful burial.”