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Ryan Johnson, Published June 19 2013

No charges expected after incidents of unsupervised young children in Moorhead

MOORHEAD – Police responded Wednesday to two separate reports of young unattended children wandering into busy streets here, but the parents won’t be charged with a crime.

Moorhead Police Department Lt. Tory Jacobson said officers first responded around 11 a.m. along U.S. Highway 75 just north of its intersection with U.S. Highway 10. When they arrived, they found a 2-year-old and 3-year-old in diapers and took the kids to the police station.

He said a social worker was contacted, and the parents were eventually found at home about a block away.

“They were still sleeping,” he said. “They had locked their residence’s door, but the children together and particularly the oldest one took his high chair and was able to manipulate the lock on the doors and get out of there.”

Jacobson said a social worker will continue to work with the parents.

The second incident was reported less than an hour later, with officers dispatched to reports of young children jumping out into the street in the Village Green area in south Moorhead.

“I don’t know exactly how close to the roads the kids got,” Jacobson said. “But the parents were there, and they certainly are aware of the dangers.”

Jacobson said the parents of this 1-year-old and 3-year-old showed “obvious recognition of the scare” when officers arrived. No charges will be filed in the incident, he said.

The incidents Wednesday follow the June 11 death of a 5-month-old baby girl who died when her father left her in a hot van for several hours. The father, Andrew Sandstrom, 24, was charged Tuesday with felony manslaughter, accused of neglect that caused the death of his daughter, Christiana Sandstrom.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587


Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587