The New York City father whose one-year-old twins died after he accidentally left them inside his hot car has collapsed into the arms of his wife following his release from prison on bail.
Juan Rodriguez, 39, was seen weeping as he hugged his spouse Marisa outside Bronx Criminal Court on Saturday after posting a $100,000 bond.
The social worker and Iraq War veteran has been charged with two counts of manslaughter and two counts of criminally negligent homicide over the deaths of his daughter Luna and son Phoenix.
He has entered not guilty pleas on all counts.
Rodriguez reportedly forgot to drop the twins off at daycare on Friday morning, leaving them to swelter in the back of his Honda Accord for eight hours while he was working at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in The Bronx.
He found the babies dead and ‘foaming at the mouth’ shortly after he finished his shift and returned to his vehicle at 4pm.
Juan Rodriguez, 39, was seen weeping as he hugged his wife Marisa outside Bronx Criminal Court on Saturday after posting a $100,000 bond. The social worker has been charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide after accidentally leaving his one-year-old twins to die inside his hot car in The Bronx on Friday
Rodriguez wailed in agony as prosecutors detailed how the twins’ bodies each reached a temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit
Rodriguez is pictured with his wife and their twins Luna and Phoenix in a recent family photo
The father parked his Honda Accord (pictured) at the Veterans Hospital where he worked shortly after 8am on Friday. He forgot his twins were sitting on the back seat
After making the tragic discovery, the father reportedly burst into screams which attracted the attention of a bystander who quickly called 911.
On Saturday, close to 50 relatives turned out to support a devastated Rodriguez during his first court appearance.
The father was clad in a turquoise t-shirt and jeans – the same outfit he wore to work on Friday.
Rodriguez – who has three older children – wailed in agony as prosecutors detailed how the twins’ bodies each reached a temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperatures in New York City reached 86 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday.
‘This is a tragedy of horrific proportions,’ Rodriguez’s defense attorney Joey Jackson told the judge as his client sobbed beside him.
The lawyer later held a press conference with Rodriguez’s wife, Marisa, who brought along the couple’s four-year-old child to the hearing.
‘This is a tragedy of horrific proportions,’ Rodriguez’s defense attorney Joey Jackson (right) told the judge as his client sobbed beside him
Rodriguez was clad in a turquoise t-shirt and jeans – the same outfit he wore to work on Friday
Rodriguez’s wife, Marisa (left), is dealing with the tragic death of her twin babies, but is steadfastly supporting her husband
Shocked neighbors have described Rodriguez as a devoted father. He is pictured doting on twins Luna and Phoenix in a Facebook photo taken last year
‘He was inconsolable, and he is still trying to come to terms with the horrific nature of this crime,’ Jackson is quoted as saying in The New York Daily News.
Meanwhile, shocked neighbors have described Rodriguez as a devoted father.
In addition to the three children he shared with wife Marisa, he has two older sons from a previous marriage.
‘He was always doing things with the kids,’ a neighbor told The New York Post.
‘Always in the yard playing. They had a big camp-out last weekend, with tents in the backyard. He would always play catch or basketball with his older kid.’
A family friend similarly told The New York Post that Rodriguez is ‘an amazing guy’.
‘He’s always been there for his kids. Always. This is just a horrible situation,’ the pal said.
Facebook photos show Rodriguez as a devoted family man who was frequently pictured doting on the twins.
Rodriguez is pictured with his wife and other family members shortly after the births of Luna and Phoenix last year
Police covered the silver Honda Accord with a white sheet and scaffolding as they conducted their investigation. They charged him with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide early on Saturday morning
One image shows the social worker peacefully sleeping with the babies lying on his chest shortly after their births.
Rodriguez served as a soldier in Iraq, and worked to support fellow veterans at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center where he was employed as a social worker.
His clients include homeless, disabled, and HIV positive veterans, according to his lawyer.
Doting dad: The social worker is seen with one of the twins on a family day out
Police quickly descended upon the tragic scene, and the father of the twins was arrested and taken into custody