Moorhead man's five children will stay in protective custody after baby's deathFargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- The 5 children of a Moorhead man who's 5 month old daughter died after he left her in a hot van for several hours will stay in protective custody.
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- The 5 children of a Moorhead man who's 5 month old daughter died after he left her in a hot van for several hours will stay in protective custody.
24 year old Andrew Sandstrom and his wife 27 year old Shayna Sandstrom made their first court appearance today to meet with child protective services in front of a judge.
At an emergency protective care hearing today, the state reccommended the children stay in custody. Right now they are staying with their maternal grandmother, but that could change.
Authorities took the 5 children into protective custody the night their sister died. Police cited filthy living conditions in the family's apartment with a toilet not working.
And with the death, they say the parents right now aren't emotionally fit to care for the children.
Brian Melton- Clay County Attorney: "We proceed from there just to determine what's in the best interest of the children."
Clay County Attorney Brian Melton says the fist plan of action is typically to place children with family.
Melton: "They're always looking to promote and keep the family unit together, so that's the first and foremost thing to try and keep the kids together."
The five children are, three boys and two girls all under the age of 7. Andrew Sandstrom left his daughter, Christiana Sandstrom in a car for several hours Tuesday. Efforts to revive the infant were unsuccessful.
Melton: "In this case we obviously have several kids and doing the best we can and obviously look to their interest and everything that's going on with that family."
Mara Rausch will be representing the mother in this case. She says the parents will continue to work on a case plan with social services. The next step in this case will be another hearing.
Mara Rausch- Defense Attorney: "It's just an admit deny hearing on the chips case whether the parents choose to admit or deny."
Although it will be a long process, the Sandstroms could get their children back if certain conditions are met. We tried to speak with the them, today, but they declined to comment.
Rausch: "At this time the family is just asking for some space and allow them time to grieve."
Charges against Andrew Sandstrom are still pending. It's not sure as to when charges might be filed.