Mom of Twins Who Died in Hot Car: ‘This Is My Absolute Worst Nightmare'

The twins were left in the backseat of their father's car from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. when he returned and found them lifeless, still strapped into their car seats

What to Know

  • Two infants were found dead in a car in the Bronx Friday afternoon after the children’s father forgot they were in there, according to cops
  • The children, 11-month-old boy and girl twins, were in the back seat as the father left for work Friday morning
  • The father didn’t realize the kids were in there until after he left for the day around 4:30 p.m., with the twins inside the car for 8 hours

The mother of 1-year-old twins who were left in their father's car while he went to work called their deaths "my absolute worst nightmare," but spoke out Sunday in defense of her husband. 

The twins, Phoenix and Luna, who had recently celebrated their first birthday, were left in the car at an employee lot at Fordham Manor VA Hospital from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., police said. Their bodies were 108 degrees when they were found, the medical examiner said. 

Their mother, Marissa Rodriguez, of Congers, said she was grieving, completely devastated, and in disbelief. 

"Though I am hurting more than I ever imagined possible, I still love my husband," she said in a statement. "He is a good person and great father and I know he would've never done anything to hurt our children intentionally."

Juan Rodriguez, a 39-year-old social worker, sobbed in court on Saturday when he pleaded not guilty to two counts each of manslaughter and negligent homicide. He was released on $100,000 bail.

"I will never get over this loss and I know he will never forgive himself for this mistake," Marissa Rodriguez said. "This was a horrific accident, and I need him by my side to go through this together."

According to a criminal complaint, Juan Rodriguez told investigators "I blanked out, my babies are dead, I killed my babies."

Marissa Rodriguez asked for privacy so the couple could "grieve, be strong, and be present for our other children."

There's an average of 38 heat-related deaths of children locked in cars nationwide per year, according to, a website that tracks the deaths. It says as of July 16, there had been 21 this year.

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