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Indian family found frozen to death near Canada-US border identified

India's High Commission in Canada said Canadian authorities have said that the death of the Indian family has been determined to be consistent with exposure to the outdoor elements.

January 28, 2022 / 12:38 PM IST
The Patel family arrived in Toronto on January 12, 2022 and from there, they made their way to Emerson around January 18. (Image credit: Photo tweeted by @rcmpmb)

The Patel family arrived in Toronto on January 12, 2022 and from there, they made their way to Emerson around January 18. (Image credit: Photo tweeted by @rcmpmb)

The family of four Indian nationals from Gujarat, found frozen to death near the Canada-US border, has been identified, with Canadian authorities saying they had moved around the country for a period of time and met with their tragic end when they were driven to the border by someone, in a case being described as that of human smuggling.

Jagdish Baldevbhai Patel, 39, Vaishaliben Jagdishkumar Patel, 37, Vihangi Jagdishkumar Patel, 11 and Dharmik Jagdishkumar Patel, 3, all from the same family, were found dead near Emerson, Manitoba, approximately 12 metres from the Canada-US border on January 19 by Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Earlier, authorities had said that the family included an adult male, adult female, teen male and an infant. But it has now revealed the victims included a young girl and not a teen male. Identities of the victims were confirmed by Canadian authorities and autopsies were completed on January 26.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Manitoba has confirmed that the cause of death was due to exposure, a statement from Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said on Thursday. India's High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, said in a press release, which also identified the four victims, that the next of kin of those who died have been informed.