Twin babies found dead in auto after father 'forgot they were there'

Numbers show reality of hot car deaths

Rodriguez said he didn't realize he left the twins, Mariza and Phoenix, in the vehicle until he drove off after work at about 4 p.m. Friday, according to police.

Police say the frantic father called emergency services but his one-year-old daughter Mariza and her twin brother Phoenix were already dead.

Police are investigating the case as an accidental hot auto death.

The father, identified as Juan Rodriguez, was charged early Saturday with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the deaths, WCBS and ABC News report. The boy and girl were a year old.

A spokesperson for the New York City Police Department tells PEOPLE that the tragedy unfolded in the Bronx just after 4 p.m.

The 1-year-old twins were pronounced dead at the scene.

When he returned to his auto hours later, he started to drive a number of blocks away from work earlier than realizing what had gone on, at which level he pulled over and recalled seeing the infants "foaming on the mouth".

A cause of death hasn't yet been determined.

Law enforcement sources told The New York Post that the babies were found "not breathing" with "their mouths covered in foam". Their father says he forgot they were there.

The father has been taken into custody, the fire official said.

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