Toddler siblings die in parked car, father arrested


Two children are dead and their father is in custody late Friday after  police responded to a call in Kingsbridge Heights and made a tragic discovery inside a car.

Paramedics were called to a parked Honda at West Kingsbridge Road and Kingsbridge Terrace in the 52nd Precinct, just after 4 p.m., on July 26. Siblings Mariza Rodriguez and Phoenix Rodriguez, both 1 and in the backseat, were pronounced dead on the scene. 

Police arrested the 39-year-old father, Juan Rodriguez. He was charged with two counts of manslaughter nd two counts of criminally negligent homicide.

The family, according to police, live in New City in Rockland County, about 40 minutes north of Kingsbridge Heights.

The medical examiner's office has yet to determine the cause of death, and police say the investigation is ongoing.

Initial reports late Friday from the NYPD had the deaths occurring within the jurisdiction of the 50th Precinct. But that jurisdiction was modified just after midnight Saturday to the 52nd Precinct. That precinct — which covers parts of Kingsbridge as well as University Heights, Norwood and Fordham, has had two reported murders so far this year compared to three by this point in 2018. 

This story was updated 7/26 at 12:21 a.m., to reflect jurisdictional changes as well as details of the arrest and charges.