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

Categories: Tragedy
moorheadbaby.jpg
Valley News Live screengrab
Police and fire department personnel gathered at the scene of the infant's death.
-- 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 arupar@citypages.com.

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33 comments
Rebecca Jean Heroff
Rebecca Jean Heroff

So incredibly sad...there should be a psych evaluation when you have that many children so young...it breaks my heart.

Michelle Hinson
Michelle Hinson

I just read that article from the link above. Heartbreaking. I was in tears at the end. Really puts things in perspective

kennyX
kennyX

And another thing. After hours of being left in the car, wouldn't have one of the other 5 kids mentioned to daddy, "Um.....where's Christiana?"

Laura Heurung
Laura Heurung

6 kids under 7 years of age? Living in filth and forgot a baby & left it to die? These parents need some serious punishment.

Ashley Olson
Ashley Olson

The other day I was driving around with my 2 month old daughter and she started to cry and I thought "Oh my god, I forgot she was in here!" It was really scary because I realized that these types of stories, the kind you think could never happen to you, really could. Now, I don't understand how you can get home with all your kids and not realize that you don't have the baby in the house for several hours! Going to work, the place where you don't normally have your baby, yes, I can see that, but in your home? I can't imagine. I am sure, no matter how unimaginable it seems to us, it is tragic and horrifying and life altering to this couple all the same. Not really a time to be calling people assholes or making this situation into an opportunity to blast these parents. I'm sure they are devastated. Not to mention the other children who have just had their world crash around them.

Angela Salzl
Angela Salzl

This is jacked.... Yes u always take the baby first! doesn't a 5 month old require non stop attention regardless to 5 other kids? YES i have a 5 month old myself. DO NOT GIVE ANY OF THOSE KIDS BACK! THEY DESERVE BETTER. RIP BABY GIRL

Kathy Drews
Kathy Drews

WTF!? don't you take the youngest out first?! No excuse.

David McGinley
David McGinley

put her in a hot car in the desert,fucking idiot

Cathe Zilka
Cathe Zilka

Why do I need to read/hear about this every year. DO NOT EVER LEAVE A CHILD OR PET IN A VEHICLE. NEVER, EVER!!!! Parent should go to jail for life and other kids given to someone who will take care of them properly. Absolutely uncalled for. This is just premeditated murder.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

This 24 year-old guy was taking care of 6 kids under the age of 7?  And his wife is only 27?  That's how this awful thing happened.  I grew up the oldest of 9 and once we left the baby at home in his car seat, all ready to go.  We got 15 miles before we realized he was gone.  He was fine, though.  Just blowing spit-bubbbles and talking to his hand.  Seemed happy to see us.

Thankfully, my wife and I didn't have kids until we were into our 30s and a lot more settled.  Then we only had the 2, and a few years apart.  When you're that young, and have that many young kids, it's a hell of a responsibility, and a very hard job.  A 5-month old and 5 others?  Those parents haven't had a night of sleep in years.  When the CIA does that to people we protest, if we hear about it.  Working families need more support.  That many kids, that young; they need a live-in Grandma or something.

This is terribly, terribly sad.  Everyone is fortunate it doesn't happen more often.

p.lindberg
p.lindberg

Keanu Reeves said it best in Parenthood, "You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog. You need a license to drive a car. You even need a license to catch a fish. But they’ll let any asshole be a parent."

Paige Benda
Paige Benda

Keanu Reeves said it best in Parenthood, "You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog. You need a license to drive a car. You even need a license to catch a fish. But they’ll let any asshole be a parent."

Talia TK Kay
Talia TK Kay

Are you f****** kidding me?? How, in this day and age, does this kind of stuff even happen anymore? Wise up people, for the love of God, wise up!

Jason Bistodeau
Jason Bistodeau

Why is there always some moron who has to make EVERYTHING about politics? Bad parenting knows no political affiliations.

Kent Klinger
Kent Klinger

Sounds like Mommy is an excellent example of the same America Hating Irresponsible Spoiled Brat losers that Occupy this Facebook Page.

bikerbda1
bikerbda1

@Damian Amberg Different person and a completely different set of circumstances. In this latest case in Moorehead the children were taken away because the home was found to be unfit for children due to filth. 

cymrugirl79
cymrugirl79

@Damian Amberg Thanks so much for posting this link. I just finished the whole eye-opening, heart-breaking article, and I, too, am changing my tune and have a new perspective on this tragic situation. As a mom to a 3-yr-old and a 2-month-old myself, this was a sobering reminder. Again, thank you for sharing. 

darenlindahl
darenlindahl

@swmnguy Merca. Let's just blame someone else and ask for more funds to teach people how to not be selfish assholes who reproduce far beyond their financial means. Darwin strikes again.


kennyX
kennyX

@swmnguy "When you're that young, and have that many young kids, it's a hell of a responsibility and a very hard job"

So they were forced to have that many kids that that age?

kennyX
kennyX

@Kent Klinger According to 'CCO, 

"The police report said the family’s apartment has “extreme filth and was unsafe for the other children,” who were being cared for by Clay County Social Services."

So yeah. You're probably right.

slfredine
slfredine

@Kent Klinger I liked you better when you wore a dress, Corporal.  BTW - Maybe the child was in the father's custody.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@darenlindahl, kennyX: You know I'm not making excuses for anybody or anything.  Heck, a couple that young with that many kids must be Quiverfulls like the Duggars, or maybe just Catholic.  They're married to each other, and working, right?  It's not making excuses or conferring victim status to read a story about two obviously overwhelmed young adults, and thinking "Wow, there but for the Grace of God go I...", and then trying to imagine how something awful like this 1) happened and 2) might not have happened.

The update to the story makes it even more sad, if that's possible.  Obviously they had really lost control of their situation.  That's just too much to handle, try as hard as they might.

I suppose if they had had abortions, or were using birth control made affordable by health insurance premiums you'd be fine with that?

TC4L
TC4L

I'm confused why someone comments and talks trash about the people who comment.  Crazy story.  Wonder what took priority in his mind for 5 hrs.  Cut his balls off and call it a day.

kennyX
kennyX

@swmnguy If they paid for the abortions or the birth control with their own money, I would be perfectly be fine with that. 

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