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Siblings of baby who died in van put in foster care

MOORHEAD — A judge here ruled Friday that the siblings of a 5-month-old girl who died after she was left alone for hours in a van Tuesday should be placed in foster care.

Responding to a 911 call from Andrew Sandstrom, the infant girl’s father, Moorhead police found Christiana Sandstrom dead about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in a van with the windows and doors closed at the family’s home.

Police have said the girl was accidentally left in the van, but the investigation is ongoing.

The five other children in the home – three boys ages 6, 5, and 1½ along with two girls ages 7 and 3 – were taken from the home Tuesday night and placed on a temporary basis 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.

In a hearing on the child protection petition Friday in Clay County District Court, Judge Michelle Lawson ordered that the children be placed in foster care. The grandmother does not live in the area, isn’t licensed as a foster home and doesn’t plan to seek a license.

The Sandstroms will need to complete a case plan set by social workers to get custody of their children.

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