Juan Rodriguez, 39, who served as a soldier in Iraq, and worked to support fellow veterans at the James J.
Peters VA Medical Center where he was employed as a social worker was devastated after finding out he accidentally killed his own twins.
He was charged with two counts of manslaughter and two counts of criminally negligent homicide over the deaths of his daughter Luna and son Phoenix.
On a Friday morning, the father forgot to drop his twins off at daycare and left them in the back of his Honda Accord for eight hours and the temperature rose to 30C in New York. He went on working at James J. Peters VA Medical Center in The Bronx.
When Rodriguez came back, he realized that his babies are still in the backseat of the car and witnesses claimed he screamed out “I killed my babies” after returning to the car from work.
Rodriguez told cops at the scene: “I assumed I dropped them off at daycare before I went to work.
“I blanked out. My babies are dead! I killed my babies!”
He was sobbing when prosecutors told how the twins’ bodies each reached a temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures in New York City reached 86 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday.
”This is a tragedy of horrific proportions,” Rodriguez’s defense attorney Joey Jackson told the judge.
Family friend Temple Barros, 41, who lives with the family, told The Post that Rodriguez routinely took the twins to daycare in the mornings.
“An amazing guy,” Barros told The Post of Rodriguez.
“He’s always been there for his kids. Always. This is just a horrible situation,” he said. “The family isn’t doing so well.”
One of Rodriguez’s neighbor named Caterino said, “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,” said of his older kids.
On Saturday, 50 relatives came to support Rodriguez during his first court appearance. He was released from prison on bail and collapsed into the arms of his wife.
Rodriguez’s mother who repeatedly crying and saying ‘My grandbabies’ showed concern for her son’s mental health.
She said: ”Do you know what I’m scared of? When he gets out, he can’t handle it. He’s going to need help.”
He has two older children from a previous marriage and shared three children with wife Marissa.