NEW YORK (AP) — A father was due in court on Saturday to face criminal charges in the New York City deaths of twin babies who he apparently left alone in a parked car for hours in the summer heat while he put in a day at work.
Juan Rodriguez was charged with two counts each of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, police said.
Rodriguez, 39, discovered Phoenix and Mariza Rodriguez around 4 p.m. on Friday in the Bronx. The 1-year-old boy and girl were pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators believe Rodriguez had parked a sliver Honda Accord, with his infants in cars seats in the back, in the morning outside the hospital where he’s employed. It appeared that he drove off after finishing work before realizing the victims were in the vehicle and frantically summoning help, police said.
Rodriguez was to appear for an arraignment in the Bronx. It was unclear if he had a lawyer to speak on his behalf.
There’s an average of 39 heatstroke deaths of children locked in cars nationwide per year, according to kidsandcars.org , a website that tracks the deaths. It says as of July 16, there had been 21 this year.
A cause of death for the twins hasn’t yet been determined.
Temperatures in the Bronx reached the mid 80s on Friday.