NEW YORK -- The mother of 1-year-old twins who died after their father left them in a car parked in New York City for eight hours defended her husband in a statement.
Juan Rodriguez, 39, was charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child during his Saturday arraignment, WPIX reports.
"Though I am hurting more than I ever imagined possible, I still love my husband," Marissa Rodriguez said in a statement released by her lawyer.
"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."
Rodriguez dropped the couple's 4-year-old son off at day care and then went straight to work, arriving about 8 a.m. Friday instead of dropping his twins off, prosecutors said during the dad's arraignment.
At the end of his work day, he drove a few blocks, then realized his babies were still in their car seats. Their body temperatures were taken at the scene and read 108 degrees.
“He’s mindful of the fact that he has to live with this every day of the rest of his life," his lawyer said.
His wife said she needs her husband by her side "to go through this together," adding this is her worst nightmare and that everything she does reminds her of her babies.
"Luna and Phoenix will always live in our hearts and memories and we are working hard to come to terms with what has happened," she said in the statement.
"We need to grieve, be strong and be present for our other children."
A GoFundMe has been launched to help cover funeral expenses.