Wife of man who 'forgot' their twin babies in hot car leading to their death stands by him: 'He will never forgive himself for this mistake'
Iraq war veteran Juan Rodriguez, 39, had forgotten his twin children - Phoenix and Luna - inside his car as he worked an eight-hour shift in a hospital.
BRONX, NEW YORK: The mother of one-year-old twins who were left to die in their father's hot car has called the tragedy "my absolute worst nightmare" but has said that she will defend her husband. Juan Rodriguez, 39, had forgotten his twin children - Phoenix and Luna - inside his hot Honda Accord while he worked an eight-hour shift at a Bronx Veterans Affairs hospital on Friday.
The twin boy and girl's mother, Marissa Rodriguez, said in a statement to NBC that even though she will never get over this loss, she needs her husband to get her through this. "I know he will never forgive himself for this mistake. This was a horrific accident, and I need him by my side to go through this together," she shared. Juan kept shrieking, "I killed my babies!" when he learned of their deaths. Juan has been charged with two counts of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
Juan, a disabled Iraq war veteran, has been described as a doting dad by friends and family. "Though I am hurting more than I ever imagined possible, I still love my husband," Marissa said. Juan had forgotten to drop the twins off at daycare in the morning and did not realize that they were in the back seat when he parked his car outside his workplace at the Bronx Hospital. Around eight hours later, Luna and Phoenix had registered internal temperatures of 108 degrees.
According to video footage captured at his workplace, he parked his car at 8.22 a.m. and then returned at 4 p.m. Juan started the car and began to drive toward home but suddenly pulled up 10 minutes later and started screaming, "I left them in the car!" Witnesses around called 911 but the medics could not revive the babies and they were pronounced dead at the scene.
After posting bail for $100,000 on Saturday afternoon at Bronx criminal court, he was seen embracing his wife.