N.Y.C. Twins Were Smothered to Death, Officials Say, Months After Deaths Were Believed to Be 'Medical Tragedy'

The twins, a 5-year-old boy and girl, had been sick before they were found dead, police previously said

<p>Kyle Mazza/TheNEWS2 via ZUMA/SplashNews</p> Bronx twins found dead

Kyle Mazza/TheNEWS2 via ZUMA/SplashNews

Bronx twins found dead

The 5-year-old twins who were found dead in their New York City apartment after foaming at the mouth in what officials previously called a “medical tragedy” were smothered, an autopsy has revealed.

On Thursday, the Medical Examiner ruled the deaths of the twin brother and sister as homicides caused by smothering, authorities said, the New York Daily News, WABC and Fox 5 report.

The children, who have not been publicly identified because of their age, were sick in the days leading up to their deaths and stayed home from school, according to WABC and WPIX.

The boy had been kept home since Nov. 30 because of vomiting and cold symptoms, Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said in December, the New York Daily News reported. His sister was also vomiting and had an ear infection, he said.

Related: Twins Found Dead in N.Y.C. Apartment Were Foaming at the Mouth After Apparent 'Medical Tragedy'

On the morning of December 18, 2023, the children's mother reportedly found them throwing up in bed, according to an NYPD news release obtained by PEOPLE.

The mother said she last saw the children alive at 5 a.m., but didn't call 911 until around 11 a.m. after she found them them in medical distress, according to the Daily News and WCBS-TV. Police said the kids were found in bed, foaming from the nose and mouth, according to NBC New York and the New York Post.

She said she performed CPR until EMTs arrived. The children were pronounced dead at the scene.

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At a press conference after the deaths, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said the situation “appears to be a medical tragedy" — but noted that autopsy reports are pending, the Daily News reported.

The mother was taken to a local hospital for emotional distress. The father, who was at work at the time, has been cooperating with authorities, say police.

Neither child appeared to have physical signs of trauma, and drugs were not found at the home, police said. Carbon monoxide poisoning did not appear to be a factor either.

The parents are immigrants from Ghana, WABC reports. The mother slept with the children in her bed, police said. The father is a home health attendant, the outlet reports.

Food, baby clothes and other supplies were found in the home, WABC reports.

“All reports were that mom was well-engaged with everything to do with the children,” Kenny said at the news conference, per the Daily News. “She was an active participant with their medical care [and] active participant in their schooling.”

Police are continuing to investigate.

The NYPD and the OCME did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment.

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