The mother of 1-year-old twins who died in a hot car has issued a statement supporting her husband, who is charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in their deaths.
"Though I am hurting more than I ever imagined possible, I still love my husband," Marissa Rodriguez said Sunday night. "He is a good person and great father and I know he would've never done anything to hurt our children intentionally. I will never get over this loss and I know he will never forgive himself for this mistake."
Juan Rodriguez, 39, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, was released on $100,000 bail Saturday. The New York City father is inconsolable and devastated, his attorney, Joey Jackson, said.
Luna and Phoenix Rodriguez were left strapped in their car seats for eight hours on Friday while Rodriguez went to work as a counselor at a Veterans Affairs hospital, authorities said.
Rodriguez called 911, but the babies were pronounced dead at the scene. The distraught father told police he thought he had dropped them off at day care. "I blanked out. My babies are dead. I killed my babies."
He had dropped his 4-year-old son at day care, but not the twin babies. He also has two older children, ages 16 and 12.
Rodriguez, a National Guard member who served in Iraq, sobbed uncontrollably during his arraignment Saturday evening. He was described as a doting father by friends and relatives.
As he left his court appearance, he was greeted with hugs and cheers from family and friends.
"This was a horrific accident, and I need him by my side to go through this together," his wife said in her statement. "Luna and Phoenix will always live in our hearts and memories, and we are working hard to come to terms with what has happened. We need to grieve, be strong, and be present for our other children."