A New York man could face time in prison after causing his twin babies’ deaths by forgetting them inside a hot car for hours — but despite the family’s grief, his wife is standing by him.
In an interview with Dr. Phil, the children’s devastated mother, Marissa Rodriguez, opens up about the tragedy, and explains why, despite her sorrow, she is supporting her husband, Juan Rodriguez, through his murder case.
“I have been so angry, I just couldn’t understand how it happened,” Marissa says through tears.
In the interview, she then recalls the moment she learned of her 1-year-olds’ deaths.
“My husband called me, I was working. The first call was about 4 or so. He told me 'Alright it's your turn to pick up the kids.’ He was going to a military event and he generally brought the kids to daycare, but we switched on who picked them up,” she says.
“I said ‘No problem, I'll pick them up.’ I was still working for another hour at least. I got on the phone with a client. He called me cellphone back again and I just ignored it because I was working,” she continues. “I realized he had left me a voicemail, which he doesn't normally do. He called again. I got off the phone and I heard him say that they were gone.”
Marissa said Juan — an Iraq war veteran who worked at a veterans’ hospital in the Bronx — went through his work day as usual, dropping off their 4-year-old son at daycare and thinking he’d dropped the twins off at another daycare. He didn’t realize they were still in the car until he jumped back in to drive to his event.
“He pulled over and was screaming,” Marissa explains of the moment Juan realized what he’d done.
As RadarOnline.com has learned, the incident occurred this July 26, 2019, when the temperature was around 85 degrees. Though Marissa said police didn’t allow her to see her babies after their deaths, they confirmed they died of a heatstroke, and were pronounced dead at the scene.
Juan has now been charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and child endangerment. He pleaded not guilty in Bronx Criminal Court, and his lawyer urged the Bronx district attorney to drop the charges against him, explaining that the dad of three is heartbroken enough. He is currently out on a $100,000 bond.
The full interview, Twins’ Tragic Hot Car Death Exclusive, airs Thursday, November 14 on Dr. Phil.