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Father of infant left in van charged with manslaughter

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MOORHEAD — Prosecutors filed a manslaughter charge Tuesday against the father of a 5-month-old girl who died when he left her in a hot van for hours last week — a death that came after police had visited the home three times in the last three years on reports of child neglect or endangerment.

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The felony charge alleges Andrew Sandstrom, 24, was neglectful in causing the death of Christiana Sandstrom, who will be buried in a funeral today.

The father told police he was napping and “awake or dazed” during the estimated four hours he left the infant in the family’s van while watching his and his wife’s six children.

In the complaint filed in Clay County District Court, police describe putrid conditions in the family’s apartment, including a refrigerator with rotten food leaking out of the door and a bathroom with an overwhelming odor of human waste.

The other five children of Andrew and Shayna Sandstrom — three boys ages 6, 5, and 1½ along with two girls ages 7 and 3 — are in foster care after being taken into custody by Clay County Social Services the night of the baby girl’s death.

A warrant was issued for Andrew Sandstrom’s arrest, but Melton said police will give him time to turn himself in after he attends the funeral today.

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