The twin baby girls who died on the same morning in New Jersey last month died of natural causes, but it was not SIDS.
According to NJ.com, the medical examiner ruled that Jessenia and Juliana Rodriguez-Garnett, who were seven months old, died of natural causes, but authorities would not specify the exact cause of death “out of respect for the deceased.”
The news outlet reportedly first learned of the medical examiner’s conclusions from a source at the Ora L. Wooster Funeral Home, where the twins were laid to rest on Saturday. The unnamed staff member told NJ.com that the medical examiner had “checked a box” for natural causes. He also did not specify the cause of death, but said that it was not Sudden Infant Death Syndrome [SID].
Detective Andrew McNeil from the Camden County prosecutor’s office reportedly confirmed that funeral home’s report to NJ.com. The prosecutor’s office had reportedly been waiting on toxicology results before releasing the cause of death.
Officials had previously ruled out carbon monoxide poisoning as a possible factor in the sudden deaths.
A family friend told Philly.com that the twins were born prematurely, and that one of the girls had an unspecific heart condition that would require surgery.
“I knew it was going to be natural causes because nobody would hurt the kids,” Markia Conover told the news outlet. They were well taken care of.”
On the morning of March 22, the twins’ mother made a harrowing 911 call from her Lindenwold apartment, telling the dispatcher that both of her babies had turned blue and were not breathing. While on the phone with the dispatcher, the mother gave both girls CPR to revive them, but they were pronounced dead after emergency services arrived at the home.
“I can tell you they were beautiful children, they are wonderful people and that mother loved those kids,” a neighbor told ABC 6 News at the time. “She loves those kids, and I can’t imagine how you could lose two babies like that and survive.”
Photo: ABC 6 News Screenshot