Father Reportedly On Suicide Watch After Being Charged In Twin Infants' Deaths

July 28, 2019 - 10:57 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) -- A father who was charged in the deaths of his infants twins who were left in a hot car for hours is reportedly on suicide watch.

New York City police announced early Saturday that 39-year-old Juan Rodriguez was charged with two counts each of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Police had said Rodriguez discovered Phoenix and Mariza Rodriguez around 4 p.m. in the Bronx.

Rodriguez's lawyer said his client was on suicide watch, according to CBS2. Rodriguez cried throughout his court hearing Saturday.

“My client is inconsolable. He is beside himself in grief, and he’s been that way for a period of time, and I’m concerned about his mental health,” defense attorney Joey Jackson said.

Rodriguez is an Iraq War veteran, and those who know him say he was a good father and that they are shocked. His family members and supporters cheered him as he left custody on Saturday, ABC7 reports.

Rodriguez told police that he thought he had taken his children to daycare.

The 1-year-old twins were pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators believe Rodriguez had parked the car Friday morning near his workplace, a hospital. Police had said it appears he drove off after finishing work before realizing the children were in the back seat and frantically summoning help.

A cause of death hasn't yet been determined.