Moorhead father charged with manslaughter after 5-month-old daughter dies in hot minivan

  • Updated: June 18, 2013 - 6:00 PM

MOORHEAD, Minn. — A Minnesota man is charged with manslaughter in the death of his 5-month-old daughter, who was left for hours in a hot minivan last week, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The Clay County Attorney's office charged Andrew Sandstrom, 24, with one count of second-degree manslaughter.

Sandstrom will be summoned to appear in court at a later date, the county attorney's office said in a news release.

Police say Christiana Natany Sandstrom died after she was left in her car seat in the van for about four hours on June 11, when temperatures were reported to be about 80 degrees.

Sandstrom forgot about the infant while unloading five other young children out of the vehicle, police said. He called 911 when he realized what had happened.

A home phone number for Sandstrom could not be found.

Police said Andrew Sandstrom dropped off his wife, Shayna Sandstrom, at work that afternoon and returned home to the couple's apartment with his children.

According to a child protection petition filed by Clay County Social Services, Andrew Sandstrom told police he had been napping and looked for the baby when he woke up. She was forgotten in the van, still in her car seat. Her father told police he thinks she was there about four hours, The Forum newspaper reported.

Shayna Sandstrom told police she called her husband twice from work to ask about the children and he told her they were fine, according to the petition.

The five other children in the home — three boys and two girls, all 7 years old or younger — were taken from the home the night their infant sister died and placed temporarily with their maternal grandmother.

County social workers on Thursday filed a petition to put the children in foster care, citing filthy conditions in the home and a toilet that hadn't been working for some time. The petition also claimed the children are "without proper parental care because of the emotional, mental or physical disability" of the parents.

In a hearing on the child protection petition Friday, Judge Michelle Lawson ordered that the children be placed in foster care.

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