Father Discovers Twin Babies Dead in Their Cots at New York Homeless Shelter

Police are investigating the death of newborn twins after they were found unresponsive at a homeless shelter in New York City.

The father of the two-month-old babies—a boy and a girl—said he found them unresponsive at The Landing, a hotel-turned-homeless shelter in the East Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, on Friday, CBS New York reported.

The babies were found unconscious in the lobby of the building after police responded to the call at around 3.40 p.m., a New York Police Department spokesman told Newsweek.

The babies were taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where they were both pronounced dead.

The father told police he had put the babies down in a crib at around 12 p.m. but found them unresponsive when he checked on them three hours later.

According to The New York Times, he took a nap and woke up to find the babies unresponsive.

Sources told CBS New York that the father rushed to get security at around 3 p.m. Detectives were inside the shelter for two hours after arriving.

Witnesses said paramedics worked to revive the infants, but their bodies "looked lifeless." Joseph Smith, who stays at the shelter, told CBS New York: "They looked lifeless. And then the color about their skin, it was... It didn't seem like they were going to make it."

Sources told CBS New York there was no visible trauma to the bodies. They also said police found a number of pillows in the cribs, but it was not clear if those had led to their deaths.

The New York City Medical Examiner will determine the cause of the infants' deaths. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing, police said.

According to CBS New York, but police have questioned the mother and father, who had custody of the babies.

I’m monitoring the tragedy that occurred at The Landing today. It’s just heart breaking, but it’s also marks 3 deaths at the shelter in 2 months and raises serious concerns. That’s why I’m calling for an investigation into what the facility/CAMBA is doing to keep residents safe. pic.twitter.com/js2FYoYVi7

— Francisco Moya (@FranciscoMoyaNY) January 11, 2020

City Councilman Francisco Moya said there have now been three deaths at the shelter in two months. He called for an investigation into the shelter, which is run by CAMBA, a Brooklyn-based non-profit organization that provided social services to New Yorkers.

"My heart breaks for the loss of these children, a boy and a girl who were just two-months-old and had their entire lives ahead of them," Moya said in a news release.

"This tragedy marks the second and third deaths tied to The Landing in just two months."

He added: "With shelter should come safety but residents and neighbors of The Landing have concerns and deserve answers about what is happening inside the facility. That's why I'm calling for a full investigation into the security practices at this shelter. Additionally, I want to know what CAMBA, which operates the shelter, is doing to keep residents and neighbors safe."

In a statement to Newsweek, a CAMBA spokesperson said: "CAMBA is saddened by the death of these twin babies and is cooperating with the NYPD on its investigation."

Isaac McGinn, a spokesperson for the Department of Social Services, told Newsweek: "This is a heartbreaking tragedy. We offer our condolences to the family and will provide them with any and all support that we can during this difficult time."

On its website, The Landing describes itself as a temporary homeless shelter that has a capacity for 169 families. It is financed by the city's Department of Homeless Services.

The Department of Homeless Services has been contacted for comment.

This article has been updated with a statement from CAMBA and information from the NYPD.

Stock photo. A man panhandles for money and food in New York City. Twin babies died after being found unresponsive at a homeless shelter in New York City on Friday. Spencer Platt/Getty Images