Family of four, believed to be Indians, frozen to death along US-Canada border; man charged with human smuggling


PTI, Jan 21, 2022, 2:31 PM IST

Image for representation

Toronto: In a heartbreaking tragedy, a family of four, including a baby, all believed to be Indians, has died from exposure to cold weather on the Canadian side of the border with the US in an apparent human smuggling operation, according to media reports.

Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on Thursday said that the bodies of four people — two adults, a teen and an infant — were found on the Canadian side of the U.S./Canada border near Emerson on Wednesday.

US officials say the dead are believed to be a family from India. They are thought to have been attempting to cross into the US, according to media reports.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy shared the discovery with reporters in a news conference on Thursday.

”What I am about to share is going to be difficult for many people to hear,” she said, calling it ”an absolute and heartbreaking tragedy”.

”At this very early stage of the investigation, it appears that they all died due to exposure to the cold weather,” MacLatchy said, adding RCMP believe the four people are connected to the group that was apprehended on the U.S. side of the border.

She said all four were located within 9-12 metres of the border.

MacLatchy said that the group was ”on their own in the middle of a blizzard” and ”faced not only the cold weather but endless fields, large snowdrifts and complete darkness”.

Police are referring to them as victims, as there are concerns the group’s attempted border crossing was facilitated in some way, and that they were left out in the extreme cold, Global News reported.

MacLatchy said work is underway to ID the victims, but at this stage, it appears they all died from exposure to the cold, the report said.

Manitoba RCMP was notified by US Customs and Border Protection on Wednesday morning that a group of people had crossed into the U.S. near Emerson, and that one of the adults was carrying items intended for a baby, but there was no infant with the group.

An immediate search began on both sides of the border, and by that afternoon, the bodies of an adult man, an adult woman, and an infant were found. The body of a boy believed to be in his mid-teens was found shortly afterwards.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota issued a release late Thursday afternoon and said 47-year-old Steve Shand of Florida had been arrested and charged with human smuggling in connection with the incident.

Shand was driving with two passengers determined to be undocumented foreign nationals from India, according to the release.

Inside the vehicle, officers found cases of plastic cups, bottled water, bottled juice and snacks in the van. As they were taking the trio back to the border patrol station in North Dakota, officers came across another group of five Indian nationals walking.

They said they had walked across the border and had expected to be picked up by someone. The group said they estimated they had been walking for more than 11 hours, the report added.

One person in the group had a backpack he told officials he was carrying for a family of four they had become separated from that contained children’s items such as clothes, a diaper and a toy.

The bodies have been tentatively identified as that family of four, the release from the US Attorney’s Office said.

The RCMP said it is working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In a statement, the Canada Border Services Agency said it is also working with law enforcement partners, as well as its American counterparts, on the investigation.

The office of the Minister of Public Safety said in a statement: “We are shocked and saddened by the tragic deaths of four people attempting to cross the Canada-US border, near Emerson, Manitoba. We extend our most heartfelt condolences to their loved ones, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Couple’s suicide case: Would have got them married, says family

‘Quomodocunquize: Tharoor takes dig at Railways Ministry with head-scratcher

Two ‘hybrid’ militants of LeT arrested in Srinagar

Ricky Kej’s jibe on ‘Brand India’ criticizing immigration process at KIA stirs controversy

Kim, other N. Koreans attend large funeral amid COVID worry

India-Japan key pillars of stable, secure Indo-Pacific region: PM Modi says in op-ed in Japanese newspaper

I did decently despite injuries hampering me, says SRH stand-in skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar


Related Articles More

Kim, other N. Koreans attend large funeral amid COVID worry

India-Japan key pillars of stable, secure Indo-Pacific region: PM Modi says in op-ed in Japanese newspaper

PM Modi arrives in Japan on two-day visit to attend Quad summit, bilateral meetings

Albanese elected Australia’s leader in complex poll result

Taliban enforcing face-cover order for female TV anchors

MUST WATCH

High tech Bust stand Inaguration at Shirva

NEWS BULLETIN 21-05-2022

We will have 2 options

Chikkamagaluru DC statement Namaz at Dattapeeta video goes viral

Kalasa Crime : CCTV Footage found


Latest Additions

Couple’s suicide case: Would have got them married, says family

WHO chief: The COVID pandemic is ”most certainly not over”

‘Quomodocunquize: Tharoor takes dig at Railways Ministry with head-scratcher

Pandemic creates new billionaire every 30 hours: Oxfam at Davos

Two ‘hybrid’ militants of LeT arrested in Srinagar

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.