Father pleads not guilty in death of twin babies found in car

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KINGSBRIDGE -

The father charged in the death of his 1-year-old twin babies pleaded not guilty in Bronx Criminal Court Saturday night.

The father, Juan Rodriguez, 39, was arrested and charged with two counts of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

Prosecutors say Rodriguez told police he thought he dropped the infants, Phoenix and Luna, off at day care before heading to work at the VA Hospital in Kingsbridge Friday morning.

Police say when Rodriguez, who is a social worker, discovered the children dead in the backseat of his car hours later, he said, "I blanked out. My babies are dead. I killed my babies."

Officials say the twin babies had body temperatures of 108 degrees when they were found. The outside had temperatures reaching the mid-80s.

Rodriguez was inconsolable during his appearance at the courthouse Saturday afternoon.

A memorial has been set up for the twins in Kingsbridge where they were found.

Rodriguez's neighbors in Rockland County tell News 12 that the incident must have been a horrible mistake.

"If you have a small child, always check--even if you don't think they're in the back before you get out, says Councilman Fernando Cabrera. "It is imperative you do that."

News 12 is told Rodriguez made bail, which was set at $100,000.

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