Dad Who Forgot Twins in Hot Car Cradles 4-Year-Old Son in Court

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The New York father who says he accidentally forgot his twins in a hot car leading to their death last month saw his case halted Thursday morning. 

Bronx native Juan Rodriguez cradled his 4-year-old son as his wife, Marissa, wept on his shoulder Thursday morning outside court. 

The nearly 1-year-old twins, Luna and Phoenix, died after being left inside their dad's car for eight sweltering hours. The 39-year-old Rodriguez said he forgot to drop them at day care. 

He pleaded not guilty to criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter and was released on $100,000 bail but his attorney is asking for the charges to be dropped altogether, calling the incident “a horrific and terrible tragedy.” 

Prosecutors have halted criminal proceedings, pending a further investigation.

Some 50 family members turned out to support Rodriguez, including his 12-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son.

Children dying in cars in America is much more common than many realize, but it's often not intentional and instead due to what some doctors are calling "forgotten baby syndrome."

“It's really a perfect storm of a number of different factors," Joshua Rosenthal of Manhattan Psychology Group told Inside Edition. "The parent who typically does not drop them off at day care is asked to do it. They start off on their normal drive to work and they're supposed to deviate and drop them off at day care.

He added: "The child falls asleep and they completely lose awareness that they're in the car."

So what's being done to solve the problem? New legislation may force car manufacturers to fit safety devices that will sound an alarm when a baby is left in a car, hopefully preventing more tragic deaths.


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