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Twin Babies Were Found Dead Inside A Hot Car After Police Said Their Father Forgot About Them

The 11-month-old babies were left inside the car for most of the day while their father — who has been arrested and charged — went to work two blocks away, police said.

Last updated on July 28, 2019, at 11:01 a.m. ET

Posted on July 26, 2019, at 7:19 p.m. ET

WCBS-TV / Via Twitter: @CBSNewYork

Twin babies were found dead inside a hot car in New York on Friday after their father forgot they were in the back seat and went to work about two blocks away, police said.

The father, 39-year-old Juan Rodriguez, from Rockland County, was charged with two counts of manslaughter and two counts of criminally negligent homicide, police said.

Rodriguez worked a full day before going back to his car in the Bronx and realizing the 11-month-old boy and girl had been inside the entire day, New York Police Sgt. Mary O'Donnell told BuzzFeed News. According to the New York Times, Rodriguez worked at James J. Peters VA Medical Center.

The dad called 911 at 4:08 p.m., O’Donnell said, but the babies were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police identified the babies as Mariza Rodriguez and Phoenix Rodriguez.

"I assumed I dropped them off at daycare before I went to work," Rodriguez told officers when they arrived, according to court documents obtained by ABC News. "I blanked out. My babies are dead; I killed my babies."

At a court hearing on Saturday night, Rodriguez wept as he pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Joey Jackson, told CNN that the father was "inconsolable."

"The family is ripped apart," said Jackson, who also works as a legal analyst for CNN. "His mental state is very fragile based on what happened. It's just an awful scenario."

The attorney added that Rodriguez, who has three other children, did not intend to harm the twins.

"What do you do to the guy? Throw him in jail and take him from his family and remaining children again? What's an appropriate resolution for this type of case?" Jackson told CNN.

Temperatures hovered around the mid 80s in the Bronx on Friday, according to the National Weather Service. However, temperatures inside a locked vehicle with raised windows in those conditions can quickly soar over 100 degrees, according to a study by San Francisco State University.

The study found that when the ambient temperature is 84 degrees, the temperature inside a locked car can jump to 103 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature inside the car can reach 116 degrees.

According to NoHeatstroke.org, an organization that tracks the deaths of children left inside hot cars, 23 have died in the US so far this year. Of the nearly 800 children who have died of heatstroke inside hot cars from 1998 to 2018, most of them — 54% — were forgotten in the car by their caregiver, it said.

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