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Old 07-27-2019, 10:14 AM
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Default Hispanic Dad charged in death of twin babies he left in hot car


Dad charged in death of twin babies he left in hot car
By Kenneth Garger, Daniel Cassady and Kathianne Boniello
July 27, 2019 | 1:10am | Updated July 27, 2019 | 11:59am

The Rockland County dad who left his 1-year-old twins in the back of his car in The Bronx for hours, killing them, is awaiting arraignment on manslaughter charges early Saturday.

Neighbors and a friend defended the father of five, Juan Rodriguez, 39, as a good dad.

The US veteran is “an amazing guy. He’s always been there for his kids. Always. This is just a horrible situation. The family isn’t doing so well,” buddy Temple Barrows, 41, said Saturday morning outside Juan Rodriguez’ New City home.

The twins, whom another family friend identified as Luna and Phoenix, just celebrated their first birthday.

Juan Rodriguez
Seth Gottfried

Rodriguez also faces two counts each of criminally negligent homicide for leaving his infant twins in the back seat of his Honda Accord while he was inside James J. Peters VA Hospital in Kingsbridge, where he works as a social worker.

The father of five told cops he parked at his job at 8 a.m. and only realized he left his kids behind once he drove off after work at about 4 p.m., police said.

A passerby called police after witnessing Rodriguez screaming on the side of the road at Kingsbridge Terrace and Kingsbridge Road, police said.

The babies weren’t breathing and were foaming at the mouth when EMS arrived. They were pronounced dead on scene.

“This was just a horrible mistake. That one time you make a mistake and you have to live with it for the rest of your life,” said neighbor Tony Caterino, 45.

“It’s just horrible. They were a great family. 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.”

Paul Bartlett, 39, called Rodriguez and his family “good, hardworking people. I have nothing bad to say about them. It’s just shocking to hear. I can’t wrap my head around it. No one here can believe it.
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