Baby dies after being left unattended in minivan for four hours [UPDATE]

Police and fire department personnel gathered at the scene of the infant's death.
Police and fire department personnel gathered at the scene of the infant's death.
Valley News Live screengrab

-- Update at bottom --

Last night, 5-month-old Christiana Sandstrom died after spending four hours unattended in a minivan car seat outside an apartment complex in Moorhead.

:::: UPDATE :::: Andrew Sandstrom charged with manslaughter for leaving baby in hot van [MUGSHOT]

It's not yet clear whether the vehicle's windows were open or whether something besides yesterday's hot temperatures may have contributed to the infant's death.

Police received a call about the infant at 8:22 p.m. A couple of hours earlier, temperatures in the area peaked for the day at 82 degrees.

"When authorities arrived, they say the baby's father was holding the unresponsive child," Valley News Live reports. "The first responder found that the infant girl had been moved to a nearby apartment and began administering CPR. However, the child was pronounced dead at the scene."

Moorhead police spokesman Chris Carey told the Forum Communications that "during the initial investigation, [the death] appeared accidental," but an investigation is underway.

:::: UPDATE ::::

Today, Moorhead police spokesman Tory Jacobson identified Christiana's parents as Andrew Sandstrom, 24, and Shayna Sandstrom, 27.

Forum Communications, citing a conversation with Jacobson, reports that yesterday's tragedy occurred after Sandstrom dropped his wife off at work and returned home with their six children, all under seven years old.

"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, adding that Andrew called 911 as soon as he realized his mistake. Tragically, it was too late. The minivan's windows were completely closed and Christiana was pronounced dead.

Not only did the Sandstroms lose Christiana, but they've also lost their other children, at least for the time being.

The other kids are being cared for by Clay County Social Services after the family's apartment was found to contain "extreme filth" and be "unsafe for the other children," WCCO reports.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >