January 20, 2022

-Global News

Manitoba RCMP say 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.

Jane MacLatchy, Manitoba’s commanding officer, said all four were located within 9-12 metres of the border.

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.

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

Manitoba RCMP were notified by U.S. 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 afterward.

Searches continued throughout Wednesday evening and RCMP continue to scour the area but no further victims have been found.

“It’s very difficult terrain,” said MacLatchy. “When they originally started the search, they realized very quickly that the snow was very deep, drifted in spots.

“They needed all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, those sorts of things. Because of the winter conditions right now, it’s virtually impassable.”

Police said people should not to attempt to cross the border in either direction because it can be deadly.

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

The investigation continues.