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‘Shocked and sad’: 5-month-old twins found dead

Five-month-old twins Giselle (left) Julian Romero were found dead their Southwest Side home Thursday May 10 2012.

Five-month-old twins Giselle (left) and Julian Romero were found dead at their Southwest Side home Thursday, May 10, 2012.

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Updated: June 12, 2012 8:19AM

The father of 5-month-old twins who died Thursday morning said neither he nor his wife knows what caused their deaths.

An emotional Josue Romero said Thursday afternoon that his wife discovered the lifeless twins — born Nov. 17 — in a crib they shared in the living room in the 4100 block of West 25th Street at 8:30 a.m.

“I can’t believe it,” he said. “I think it was an accident. I’m shocked and sad.”

However, officials with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said the state was investigating allegations of neglect against the mother and father.

DCFS had prior contact with the family based on allegations of abuse and neglect against the father and an uncle in March 2011, spokesman Jimmie Whitelow said. DCFS also has a pending investigation based on neglect allegations from April 9. Additionally, DCFS has an open family case where support services were provided to “strengthen the family” since June 2011, he said.

Romero said the babies had awoken in the middle of the night and his wife soothed the babies — Julian and Giselle — back to sleep. He left the home early in the morning to take older children in the family to day care. While he was gone, his wife went to check on the babies later in the morning — and they were unresponsive.

“I saw her crying on the floor in shock. ‘The babies, the babies,’ ” he said of what his wife told him when he returned from taking the other children to daycare. He asked where they were, and she said, “ ‘They are in the bed, but you don’t want to see.”

He said he tried to splash water on the children.

“They didn’t react,” he said.

Romero said his wife is a loving mother. He said he knew of no health problems the twins suffered. Although they were born premature, they were both getting chubby, he said.

“I’m not trying to blame anybody,” he said. “I don’t want to point fingers. I know my wife. My wife is very caring. She loves my kids.”

He said there was a thick blanket in the crib at the time of their deaths.

A police source said they were investigating the possibility that both twins died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but an autopsy was not expected to be performed until Friday.

Both infants suffering SIDS at the same time would be extremely unusual, although it has happened in the past, experts said.

“It is rare but not unheard of. It has been documented in the medical literature,” said Dr. Betty McEntire, executive director of the American SIDS Institute in Naples, Fla.

Romero’s sister, Anna, said she saw the babies shortly after her brother came home. “They were cold and they were pale,” she said. “My brother tried CPR but it was too late already.”

“They were always smiling, they were so alive,” Anna Romero said of the twins.

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