Crime N.Y. Mom Tells Dr. Phil About Moment Husband Told Her He Left Twins in Hot Car by Accident "I heard him say they were gone," recalls Marissa Rodriguez, of the call that changed her life By Chris Harris Chris Harris Twitter Chris Harris has been a senior true crime reporter for PEOPLE since late 2015. An award-winning journalist who has worked for Rolling Stone and MTV News, Chris enjoys prog rock, cycling, Marvel movies, IPAs, and roller coasters. People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 13, 2019 10:43 AM Share Tweet Pin Email For the first time since they died in a hot car more than three months ago, mom Marissa Rodriguez is opening up about the horrific day she learned her twin babies Luna and Phoenix were gone — found dead after being left in a New York City car by their veteran father, who believed he’d dropped them at day care. Marissa recently sat down with Dr. Phil McGraw for an episode of his eponymous show, Dr. Phil, which airs Thursday, November 14. Fighting back tears, she recalls the call she received from her husband, Iraq war vet Juan Rodriguez, on July 26 — the call that changed her life forever. A clip from the emotional episode is featured on PEOPLE above. Iraq Vet Called Wife Telling Her to Pick Up Twins from Day Care, But They’d Already Died in Hot Car “I was working,” Marissa begins. “The first call was at about 4 or so. He told me, ‘Alright, it’s your turn to pick up the kids.’ He was going to a military event. He generally brought the kids to day care but we switched off who picked them up. So I said, ‘No problem.’ I was still working for another hour at least.” After phoning a client, Marissa said her 39-year-old husband called her again. “I kind of just ignored it because I was working,” she tells Dr. Phil. “I realized he left me a voicemail which he doesn’t normally do. He called again, so I said, ‘Okay, it’s important.’ I got off the phone [with my client] … I heard him say they were gone.” The grieving dad is also featured in the clip, but does not speak. Juan Rodriguez has been charged and arraigned in connection with the deaths of the couple’s 1-year-old twins Luna and Phoenix. However, the case has not been presented to a grand jury for indictment, and prosecutors are still mulling whether they should pursue one against him. In August, Bronx District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Patrice O’Shaughnessy told PEOPLE prosecutors have until late December to present a case to a grand jury, who could move to indict Juan. “We are not presenting to a grand jury at this time,” O’Shaughnessy said to PEOPLE at the time. “We still need to conduct the investigation. We have to make sure that we know all the facts and everything that happened.” N.Y.C. Prosecutors Not Sure If They Will Indict Iraq War Vet Who Left Twins in Hot Car CBS New York Juan, a social worker at the James J. Peters VA Hospital in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, spent the day working before returning to his car. He had already started driving and was two blocks from work when he saw his kids in their car seats in his rearview mirror. He is out on bond. He pulled over, according to an NYPD source, and found the twins unresponsive — foaming at the mouth. Twin Infants Found Dead in Car ‘Foaming at the Mouth’ After Being ‘Forgotten’ Inside All Day “I blanked out,” Juan told police who responded to the scene. “My babies are dead. I killed my babies.” He has pleaded not guilty to two counts each of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child. Iraq War Veteran Tells Police ‘I Blanked Out’ After His 1-Year-Old Twins Die in Hot Car During her exclusive interview with Dr. Phil, Marissa also explains why she is standing by her husband in the wake of their loss, and reveals what she wants other parents to learn from this tragic tale. Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases. Dr. Phil‘s segment with the grieving mother airs Thursday. Check local listings for air times.