Twin infants tragically died on Friday after they were left inside a hot vehicle in New York City all day while their father was at work and allegedly did not realize his children had been sitting in the car for hours.
The babies’ father, 39, has since been taken into custody as authorities investigate the heartbreaking incident that claimed the lives of both 1-year-old infants, who were identified by police as Mariza and Phoenix Rodriguez of Rockland County, New York.
A spokesperson for the New York City Police Department tells PEOPLE that the tragedy unfolded in the Bronx just after 4 p.m.
“On July 26, 2019, at 1608 hours police responded to a report of an aided male inside of a vehicle at West Kingsbridge Road and Kingsbridge Terrace, within the confines of the 50 Precinct,” the spokesperson says.
“Upon arrival officers discovered a 1-year-old female and a 1-year-old male unconscious and unresponsive seated in the rear of a Honda sedan,” the spokesperson continues. “EMS responded and pronounced them both deceased at the scene.”
The Medical Examiner’s office is now working to determine the cause of death while the investigation remains ongoing, according to the spokesperson.
Though the father was not identified, ABC 7 reports that he allegedly told authorities he had driven to work at the VA Medical Center around 8 a.m. and then parked his car, forgetting that his two infants were in their rear-facing car seats.
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After returning to his vehicle hours later, the man told police he began to drive away and didn’t notice his children were in the backseat until he was two blocks away from work.
At that point, it was tragically too late as the man recalled seeing his babies “foaming at the mouth” in the backseat of his car.
He then pulled over and called 911, but was later taken into custody for questioning, according to ABC 7.
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The outlet also reports that police are investigating the incident as an accidental hot car death.
As of Friday evening, no charges had been filed against the father, according to the local news station.