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Riverhead dad of slain twin girls: 'They were beautiful souls'

Tenia Campbell of Medford enters East Hampton Town

Tenia Campbell of Medford enters East Hampton Town Court on Friday for arraignment on murder charges in the deaths of her twin 2-year-old daughters.  Credit: John Roca

The father of the 2-year-old twins killed Thursday, whose mother faces murder charges, said Saturday he was in shock and at a loss to explain why it happened.

Seti Robinson, 25, of Riverhead, said he last saw Jasmine and Jaida Campbell in December. He said he had planned to see them last Friday but needed to reschedule and was hoping to set something up for this weekend before he learned of the tragedy. 

“They were beautiful souls, had a bunch of energy,” Robinson said. “They were playful, they loved each other. There are so many things you could say.”

Campbell’s mother, Vanessa McQueen, told police that her daughter Tenia Campbell, 24, has bipolar disorder and was acting “irrationally and angry” in the days and hours leading up to the slayings, according to court papers.

On Thursday afternoon, Campbell of Medford called McQueen, who lives in Mastic Beach, and told her she “didn’t want to live anymore and that she was going to kill herself and her babies,” McQueen told police.

Jasmine and Jaida were found in cardiac arrest inside their mother’s minivan in Montauk and were later pronounced dead at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. Tenia Campbell was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree murder. 

Robinson said he was only peripherally aware of Campbell's mental health issues.

“I’m still shocked, and I’m still lost,” Robinson said. 

Robinson, who also has a 7-year-old daughter and 10-month-old son,  said he met Campbell when they were in middle school in Wyandanch and they’ve had an “on-and-off” relationship for years.

Robinson said he had moved to Pennsylvania and wasn’t able to see the girls often. He said he tried to remain an active part of their lives and said he would FaceTime with them. 

McQueen said Saturday Robinson was not involved in the twins’ lives and declined to comment further.

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