Manitoba RCMP confirmed the identities of the group found deceased near the Canada-U.S. border earlier this month

Manitoba RCMP have confirmed the identities of the 4 individuals who were found dead near the Canada-U.S. border last Wednesday (Jan 19.).
They are Jagdishkumar Patel, a 39-year-old man; Vaishaliben Patel, a 37-year-old woman; Vihangi Patel, an 11-year-old girl, and Dharmik Patel, a 3-year-old boy.
RCMP Chief Superintendent Rob Hill said in a news conference they are from the same family and are all Indian nationals. Hill also apologized for initially identifying the 11-year-old girl as a male teen, emphasizing the frozen state of the victims and the clothing they were wearing made the initial identification difficult.
In a news release, the RCMP has been working closely with RCMP Liaison Officers in New Delhi, India and Washington, D.C. and have been in regular contact with Indian consular officials, who have helped in providing notification to next-of-kin.
The cause of death was confirmed – by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Manitoba – to be exposure to the cold.
Hill also confirmed the Patel family arrived in Toronto on January 12. “From Toronto, the family made their way to Manitoba, and eventually to Emerson, on or about January 18. There was no abandoned vehicle located on the Canadian side of the border; this clearly indicates that someone drove the family to the border and then left the scene.” Hill stated.
RCMP are looking to determine how they travelled from Toronto on January 12 to Emerson, Manitoba, on or around, January 18.
“With what we know so far of their activities in Canada, along with the arrest that occurred in the United States, we believe this to be a case of human smuggling,” Hill added.
47-year-old Steve Shand of Florida was charged in the U.S. with human smuggling, though the charges have not been proven in court.
The RCMP is asking anyone who may have information on this investigation to call the Manitoba RCMP Major Crime Services at 431-489-8551, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or online at
(Photo: Manitoba RCMP)

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