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US: 'On their own in the middle of a blizzard': Baby among 4 found dead near US, Canada border

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Canadian authorities found the bodies of four people including a baby who apparently froze to death in a blizzard a few meters from the US border along a route used by migrants, officials said Thursday. Manitoba Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy told an earlier press conference she considered these people "victims." " We 're very concerned that this attempted crossing may have been facilitated in some way and that these individuals including an infant were left on their own in the middle of a blizzard when the weather had hovered around minus 35 degrees Celsius, factoring the

" We are very concerned that this attempted crossing may have been facilitated in some way and that these individuals, including an infant, were left on their own in the middle of a blizzard ," MacLatchy said. “These victims faced not only the cold weather but also endless fields, large snowdrifts and complete MacLatchy said others are often involved in arranging to bring people across the border , which is criminal and extremely dangerous. In the past it has been more common to see crossings north from the U . S . into Canada , she added. Authorities did not provide the nationalities of the victims.

Four people, including a baby and a teenager, were found dead in frigid weather near the U.S.-Canada border and a Florida man is facing federal human smuggling charges as authorities in both countries describe a suspected failed border crossing attempt.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the victims were found about 40 feet north of the international border and are believed to be part of a group crossing from Canada into the U.S. on Wednesday.

Canadian officials say the group likely died of exposure to extreme cold. The deceased were found near the town of Emerson, Manitoba, which is roughly 150 miles north of Fargo, North Dakota.

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According to documents, a US Border Patrol in North Dakota stopped a 15-passenger van just south of the Canadian border on Wednesday. Shand was driving and court documents allege he was with two undocumented Indian nationals. Around the same time, court documents said five other people were spotted by law enforcement in the snow nearby . Border crossings into Canada on foot increased in 2016 following the election of former US president Donald Trump. That December, two men lost their fingers to severe frostbite after getting caught in a blizzard while walking from the US into Manitoba.

Four people, including an infant, have been found dead near the Canada - United States border , after a failed crossing attempt during brutal blizzard conditions. The grim discovery came as officials south of the border announced the arrest of a US man on human smuggling charges. The group is believed to have succumbed to the intense cold and punishing winds as they attempted to cross the border in an area where temperatures had recently dipped to -35C (-31F). “These individuals, including an infant, were left on their own in the middle of a blizzard …

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On the U.S. side of the border, a Florida man was charged on Thursday with human smuggling. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota said Steve Shand, 47, appeared in court Thursday.

Shand was stopped by U.S. Border Patrol less than a mile south of the U.S.-Canada border, driving a 15-passenger van. Agents found two undocumented immigrants from India inside the van, according to the Department of Justice.

Border Patrol arrested Shand for smuggling undocumented foreign nationals. While he was being transported to a facility, law enforcement saw five other Indian immigrants about a quarter-mile south of the Canadian border, walking in the direction of where Shand was arrested.

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Manitoba RCMP say four people, one an infant, were found dead Wednesday at the Canada - U . S . border . "What I am about to share is going to be difficult for many people to hear," RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said at a news conference on Thursday. "It is an absolute and heartbreaking tragedy." The bodies of a man, woman and baby were found together in one area while the body of a teen boy was found a few metres away, she said. They are believed to have died from exposure to the freezing weather while attempting to walk across the border from Canada to the

Manitoba RCMP say four people, one an infant, were found dead Wednesday at the Canada - U . S . border . What I am about to share is going to be difficult for many people to hear, RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said at a news conference on Thursday. It is an absolute and RCMP do not yet know how the people arrived in Emerson in the first place, but investigators will look into every aspect of their deaths , MacLatchy said. Her officers are working closely with U . S . Customs and Border Protection and the U . S . Department of Homeland Security. I also have a message to anyone

The group told law enforcement that they had been walking around for 11 hours, and crossed the border expecting to be picked up by someone.

They were exhibiting severe signs of hypothermia and frostbite from exposure to the extreme cold and wind chill, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. Two were taken to the hospital.


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One of the group members said he was carrying the backpack for a family of four  who had walked with his group earlier but became separated during the night. The backpack contained children’s clothes, a diaper, toys, and some children’s medication, the Department of Justice said.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said at a Thursday news conference that human smuggling was suspected in the incident. "We’re very concerned that this attempted crossing may have been facilitated in some way and that these individuals, including an infant, were left on their own in the middle of a blizzard."

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Canadian officials discovered the bodies of a man, woman, teenage boy and an infant on Wednesday morning near the town of Emerson. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy called the incident an “absolute and heartbreaking tragedy. “ We ’re very concerned that this attempted crossing may have been facilitated in some way and that these individuals, including an infant, were left on their own in the middle of a blizzard when the weather hovered around –35 [with the wind chill],” MacLatchy said.

Shand remained in custody late Thursday. Authorities allege in court documents that Shand has likely been involved in other border crossings, including two recent incidents in December.

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As of Thursday afternoon, the search on the Canadian side of the border has concluded, MacLatchy told USA TODAY.

The individuals, who would have been traversing agricultural fields filled with waist-high snow, would have faced "white out conditions" and temperatures below -40 degrees, accounting for wind chill.

MacLatchy added this is the first border crossing going north to south she has seen in her jurisdiction.

Previously, the number of people apprehended for illegally crossing from Canada into the United States along its northern border spiked around 2020, according to federal data. At the time, The Associated Press reported some migrants from Mexico appeared to find the northern border easier to cross than the southern border, for a variety of reasons.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'On their own in the middle of a blizzard': Baby among 4 found dead near US, Canada border

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