Since leaving his 1-year-old twins in his broiling automobile whereas he was at work on Friday, killing them, Juan Rodriguez has been in a state of disbelief, struggling to perceive how he might have forgotten to drop them off at their day care.
Out on bail on manslaughter fees and wracked with grief, he informed a detailed buddy that he believed he had left the youngsters at their day care supplier, regardless that he had not. “He couldn’t explain it,” the buddy, Alfredo Angueira, mentioned. “In his mind he dropped them off.”
Then on Sunday, Mr. Rodriguez referred to as David Diamond, a professor of psychology in Florida who research why in any other case loving mother and father overlook their youngsters in automobiles. Mr. Rodriguez couldn’t perceive his personal reminiscence lapse, Dr. Diamond mentioned.
“He thought he was the only person who had ever done this,” Dr. Diamond mentioned in an interview on Monday.
Dr. Diamond mentioned he informed Mr. Rodriguez that a whole bunch of different mother and father have additionally left their youngsters in sizzling automobiles, with equally tragic outcomes. It has occurred to medical doctors, accountants, academics.
Since 1998, about 440 youngsters nationwide have died of heatstroke after being forgotten in automobiles, usually not due to an absence of affection, Dr. Diamond mentioned, however due to how human reminiscence features.
“I think this has helped him in his time of grieving,” he mentioned, “to understand how it’s possible he could do this.”
Mr. Rodriguez has not spoken publicly, however the feedback by Mr. Angueira and Dr. Diamond provided the primary insights into how he’s grappling with the devastating actuality of getting left his youngsters to die.
Mr. Rodriguez, who lives in Rockland County, N.Y., informed the police he assumed he had dropped the infants off.
He mentioned he arrived at work in the Bronx at eight a.m., put in a full shift counseling folks at a veterans’ hospital and had already began driving house at four p.m. when he found the twins nonetheless strapped in their rear-facing automobile seats, not respiratory, the police mentioned.
He acquired out of the automobile and screamed, alarming bystanders. “I blanked out,” he informed the police. “I killed my babies!”
His spouse, Marissa A. Rodriguez, is standing by him, saying it was a horrific accident.
On Sunday, she mentioned in an announcement that the deaths had been “my absolute worst nightmare.”
“Though I am hurting more than I ever imagined possible, I still love my husband,” Ms. Rodriguez mentioned. “He is a good person and great father and I know he would’ve never done anything to hurt our children intentionally.”
Dr. Diamond defined that about half of the youngsters who had been mistakenly left behind in automobiles since 1998 died in very comparable circumstances to these of Luna and Phoenix, Mr. Rodriguez’s youngsters. A mum or dad or caregiver had meant to drop the youngsters off at day care or preschool however forgot, leaving them in the automobile.
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