Things That Matter

A New York Family Is Coming Together To Support The Father After Forgetting His Twins In His Car When At Work

A family is grieving an unimaginable tragedy. Father Juan Rodriguez accidentally left his 1-year-old twins, Luna and Pheonix Rodriguez, in his car when he arrived to work. Eight hours later, Juan went back to his car to drive home when he had the realization that his twins had been strapped in their car seats the entire day. A community has come together to help the grieving family.

Iraq veteran and social worker for the VA is facing charges for leaving his twins in his car when he went to work.

Credit: Facebook

Juan works as a social worker for the James J. Peters VA Hospital in the Bronx. On Friday, July 23, the father of the twins, who had just turned 1, went to work and forgot to leave his children at daycare. Juan then worked a full day and it wasn’t until he was back in his car and already driving when he realized that his children were still strapped into their car seats in the back seat.

Witnesses say they saw Juan stepping out of his car crying and screaming for help.

Credit: Eyewitness News ABC7NY / YouTube

“He’s screaming and he gets on the phone and is like, ‘Oh my god, my kids died. Oh my God, my kids died,” one witness told local news. “He was very very very sad.”

Authorities have paused on an indictment leading some to believe the original charges will be reduced or dropped.

Credit: CBS New York / Twitter

“We are speaking to the district attorney’s office to convey to them, what I think that they know and understand, that this was a horrific and terrible tragedy,” Rodriguez’s Attorney Joey Jackson told the press. “Obviously, my client, Mr. Rodriguez, his wife, his mom, his dad, his beautiful family, his 16-year-old, his 12-year-old, his 4-year-old, they’re completely crushed by this incident.”

Jackson confirmed that Juan will be back in court on Aug. 27 to see if the grand jury has found enough evidence to indict Juan for the death of his children.

Strangers are coming together to raise money for the families legal and funeral costs linked to the tragedy.

Credit: Eyewitness News ABC7NY / YouTube

“Juan Rodriguez is a loving father and a dedicated husband, with a relentless drive to improve the lives of his family and community. A disabled veteran, as well as a social worker for the VA Hospital in the Bronx; he has first-hand knowledge of how traumatic experiences can impact lives” reads the GoFundMe set up for the family. “He has helped countless veterans with their daily lives and has served as a liaison between veterans, and outside agencies that work closely with the VA hospital. He has dedicated his life to public service, positively affecting thousands of lives. Juan is an honest and hard-working man. A man who now has to deal with the same type of traumatic loss that he has helped others cope with in the past.”

The GoFundMe has raised more than $89,000 so far.

Credit: GoFundMe

“This incident was a heartbreaking accident that has impacted the entire family. We are asking for your support, to help them get through this horrible and dark moment, and to find peace during this nightmare,” reads the GoFundMe account. “The family seeks to mourn together and be reunited, while they begin to tackle the impossible task of going on with their lives. We are asking for community support, in the same manner that Juan and Marissa have supported this community, while they cope with this tragedy.”

The family is standing behind Juan as he battles in the courts.

Credit: Facebook

“Though I am hurting more than I ever imagined possible, I still love my husband,” Marissa Rodriguez, his wife, said in a statement on Sunday. “This was a horrific accident, and I need him by my side to go through this together.”

Funeral services for the twins are being held on Friday, August 2, less than one month after the twins celebrated their first birthday.

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