Bronx

No End to Nightmare for NYC Dad in Twins’ Hot Car Deaths

Juan Rodriguez forgot his babies in his car when he went to work on July 26; when he came back eight hours later, both were dead

What to Know

  • The dad accused in the deaths of his 1-year-old twins left court Thursday still not knowing whether the DA would bring an indictment
  • Juan Rodriguez forgot his babies in his car when he went to work on July 26; when he came back eight hours later, both were dead
  • His attorney calls the twins' deaths a tragic mistake and said his client and family have dedicated their lives to preventing similar cases

More than four months after a New York City father admitted forgetting his 1-year-old twins in a car when he went to work over the summer, leaving them long enough that they died of heat, he's still struggling to find time to grieve.

The legal proceedings for Juan Rodriguez have dragged on and on since that nightmarish July 26 day, when he parked his car in his employment lot and forgot they were inside. He has been brought to court proceeding after court proceeding -- again just Thursday -- and the Bronx district attorney's office still has not decided whether to call the case before a grand jury.

Now Rodriguez will have to wait until February to find out if, finally, his case will be dismissed as a tragic accident or if he will be indicted for killing his children. During Thursday's brief court hearing, Bronx prosecutors said they still needed more time to investigate. Meanwhile, the Rodriguez's lives are still in shambles.

The Bronx district attorney still has not put the case of a father accused of leaving his 1-year-old twins to die in a car on a hot summer day before a grand jury, nor has there been a plea offer.

Rodriguez previously said he "blanked out" when he forgot to drop the babies off at day care in Yonkers that day. Eight hours later they were found dead in his parked car in the Bronx.

The father could face manslaughter charges, pending a criminal determination by Bronx prosecutors. His lawyer has said he would not testify should the case be brought before a grand jury. 

Rodriguez has been out on bail since his twins Phoenix and Luna died. The father, who has three other children, including a 4-year-old boy, "has been extremely transparent" about what happened, his attorney has said.

When the children were found, a sobbing Rodriguez told investigators he "blanked out, my babies are dead, I killed my babies." And his lawyer says both Rodriguez and his wife, who has backed him every step of the way, have committed their lives to trying to prevent other parents from making the same awful and irrevocable mistake. 

Rodriguez is due back in court on Feb. 6. 

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