NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A mother who lost her twin babies, both killed after being left in a hot car last July, is talking about the tragedy for the first time.
Their father is charged with manslaughter, although he says it was an accident.
“I don’t want to be here… I don’t want this to be my story, but I’m here because I want to help other people,” Marissa Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez is telling her agonizing story to Dr. Phil – about the moment she found about the tragedy that took her two babies in the Bronx.
“I knew that they were gone… just couldn’t believe it.”
Marissa’s husband Juan, an Iraq War veteran from Rockland County, had driven to work at a Bronx VA hospital — leaving his one-year-old twins trapped in their car seats. When he returned to his parked car eight hours later, he discovered infants Luna and Phoenix dead in the back seat.
“I kept saying you’re joking, ran out of my job, got in my vehicle.”
Rodriguez said the day had started like any other, with her playing with twins before they would go to daycare.
“I kissed them, played music in the morning… they loved to dance.”
The mother says what adds to the horror is that her husband is now facing criminal charges.
“I can’t understand how that is justice… we are living every day without our children and that’s devastating enough.”
For now, Marissa Rodriguez is trying to hold on to the memories, mementos of two little ones who will never grow up.
“I have one shoe each from of them when I got them dressed them in the morning.”
She was asked if she could forgive her husband.
“Forgiveness has come because I know that he is a good man.”
Juan Rodriguez is charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and endangering the welfare of a child. He’s due back in court on Dec 5.