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Father of Moorhead 5-month-old who died in van was taking care of five other children under age 7

1103 19th St. S.

By Dave Olson / The Forum

MOORHEAD – Police here say a 5-month-old girl died Tuesday night after she was left in a car seat in a van while her father was taking care of five other children under the age of 7.

Police Lt. Chris Carey said officers, along with Moorhead Fire and F-M Ambulance crew members, responded to the report of an unresponsive child at 1103 19th St. S. about 8:22 p.m.

Carey said the girl, identified as Christiana N. Sandstrom, was left in the minivan for an “extended period of time” and died at the scene.

The investigation into the incident is still in its early stages, but Police Lt. Tory Jacobson said this morning the death appears to be accidental.

Police did not say if the windows in the vehicle were open, but Jacobson said it is possible for temperatures in a closed vehicle to climb very high very quickly.

Temperatures in the metro area hovered around 80 degrees most of Tuesday afternoon and reached 82 degrees about 6 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Jacobson identified the girl’s parents as Andrew Sandstrom, 24, and Shayna Sandstrom, 27.

Jacobson said Andrew Sandstrom dropped his wife off at work Tuesday afternoon and returned home with six children under the age of 7.

“In bringing the children into his residence, the last and youngest child, a 5-month-old little girl, was forgotten inside the vehicle for a number of hours,” Jacobson said.

He said when Sandstrom discovered he had forgotten the girl in the van he called 911.

Officers attempted to provide the girl with medical attention, but efforts to revive her were unsuccessful, Jacobson said.

He said the family was very distraught Tuesday night and Social Services was brought in to help care for the children.

“Clearly, this is a loved little girl. It’s incredibly tragic,” Jacobson said.

He said the investigation is ongoing and when reports have been completed they will be forwarded to the Clay County Attorney’s Office for review.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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