Highlights

  • Four Indians frozen to death along Canada-US border identified
  • All 4 belonged to the same family- parents and 2 children
  • 11-yr-old girl and 3-yr-old froze to death with their parents

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Indian family who died trying to cross into US from Canada identified

One of the five migrants who walked across the border told authorities they expected to be picked up by someone in the U.S.

Officials in Canada have confirmed the identities of four Indian nationals whose bodies were found frozen in Manitoba near the Canada-U. S. border last week.

Authorities say the four who died were Jagdish Baldevbhai Patel, a 39-year-old man, Vaishaliben Jagdishkumar Patel, a 37-year-old woman, Vihangi Jagdishkumar Patel, an 11-year-old girl, and Dharmik Jagdishkumar Patel, a three-year-old boy.

Investigators believe the family of four was attempting to cross over the border by foot on Jan. 19 during severe winter weather and died from exposure.

A special team, led by a senior consular officer from the Consulate General of India, is in Manitoba to help with investigations on the Canadian side and to offer services for the victims.

Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police found the four bodies near Emerson, Manitoba, after U.S. border patrol agents advised them they had picked up a group of Indian nationals on the U.S. side.

One of the individuals was found with a backpack full of items for an infant. He told investigators he was carrying the backpack for a group that got separated from his.

Investigators have said they believe the deaths are linked to a human smuggling scheme.

Canadian authorities are seeking help with their investigation from any Canadians who interacted with the family after they arrived in Toronto and journeyed to Manitoba.

Steve Shand of Deltona, Florida, faces counts of transporting or attempting to transport illegal aliens. He was released on bail Monday.

He has not been charged in the deaths.

Also watch: Indian family's death in Canada: Arrested US man released without paying bond

When Shand was arrested, he was driving a 15-passenger van with two of the Indian nationals inside.

One of the five migrants who walked across the border told authorities they expected to be picked up by someone in the U.S.

He said they had been walking for more than 11 hours. Two of the five were hospitalized for injuries from exposure to the cold.

Federal authorities in the U.S. suspect that the case is linked to a larger smuggling operation along the Canadian border.

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