FILED IN: Tragic Endings

Five-month-old twins found dead in their home, DCFS investigates

Authorities report that five-month-old twins were found dead on the west side of Chicago this morning in the Little Village neighborhood.

Police News Affairs Officer Laura Kubiak said that the babies, a boy and a girl named Julian and Giselle Romero , were found unresponsive by family members at about 10 a.m. inside their home. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office reports that paramedics were called, but the babies were found dead on the scene. The examiner’s office also said that autopsies were scheduled for Friday.

The case is being investigated by child welfare officials, who say that they were already investigating allegations of neglect involving the babies from a month ago. Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Jimmie Whitelow would not share details about allegations or the investigation.

Whitelow said that DCFS has had contact with the family since March of 2011, at which time they found that an allegation of abuse involving an older child was credible. Another investigation was begun on April 9, this time looking into an allegation of neglect against the babies’ parents.

Victoria Rodriguez, the babies’ mother, said she found the twins in their crib unresponsive she believes they may have been accidentally suffocated by a blanket. Rodriguez, 19, put a blanket on them when they woke up early Thursday morning, but she said the blanket did not cover their heads. She said that when she went to check on them at 8:30 a.m., the blanket was covering their heads and they weren’t moving.

Rodriguez said,  “I moved the blanket. They didn’t move at all…I think that they suffocated.”

She said that she tried unsuccessfully to wake them up by rocking them and splashing cold water on their faces. According to Rodriguez, the kids were happy and healthy, and they would have been six months on May 17.

Ana Romero, the sister of the twins’ father, said the twins’ parents were good parents. She said, “They always took care of the kids well.”

According to Whitelow, the DCFS began providing support to the family like homemaking and counseling in June of 2011. Whitelow also said the allegations were against the father of the child and an uncle.