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Father admits to accidentally leaving twins in back seat of hot car for over eight hours

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Posted at 11:52 AM, Jul 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-28 14:54:22-04

NEW YORK — Family and supporters cheered as Juan Rodriguez left custody just one day after his one-year-old twins died inside a hot car in the Bronx.

Rodriguez told police he forgot Mariza and Phoenix Rodriguez were in the backseat, and he went to work for the day and found them eight hours later at the intersection of Kingsbridge Terrace and Kingsbridge Road in the Kingsbridge neighborhood.

The 39-year-old father from New City, Rockland County, was taken into custody for questioning Friday and charged early Saturday morning.

Rodriguez told police he dropped one of his children, a three-year-old, at a home in Westchester, and then drove to work at the VA Medical Center in the Bronx around 8:00 a.m. He told police he forgot the children were in their rear-facing car seats when he parked, police said.

He said he went back into his car after his eight-hour shift and started to drive away, according to police. He drove for two blocks before discovering the children in the back seat "foaming at the mouth" and called 911.

Police said he pulled over and screamed for help.

Rodriguez was charged with two counts of manslaughter and two counts of criminally negligent homicide.

"This is a horrific situation. It is early in the investigative process; we will release more information as it becomes available," an NYPD spokesperson said.

Rodriguez's bail was set at $50,000 cash and $100,000 bond.

Rodriguez is a licensed clinical social worker and also an Army Veteran who served in Iraq.

Courtesy article ABC30 Fresno