A Florida man is charged with human smuggling and is in custody in Minnesota after the bodies of four people, including an infant, were found frozen to death in Canada.
“What I am about to share is going to be difficult for many people to hear,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy said at a news conference Thursday. “It is an absolute and heartbreaking tragedy.”
Border Patrol agents stopped Steven Shand, 47, a mile south of the U.S.-Canada border. He was driving a van and agents found two undocumented passengers inside along with snacks and other supplies.
Border Patrol arrested Shand for smuggling the foreign nationals into the country.
A short distance later, agents found a group of five additional Indian nationals who had been walking in the freezing cold for 11 hours.
They told Border Patrol they had just crossed the border and someone was supposed to pick them up but were left stranded in the blizzard with a wicked wind chill well below zero.
Then the group of nationals told agents a “family of four had been with them, but they were separated.”
Finally, agents found the bodies of four people, including a child frozen not far from the Canadian-U.S. border.
The dead bodies were tentatively identified as the family of four that was separated. Two of the surviving nationals were in serious condition and were transported to a hospital.
Shand has not been charged in connection to their deaths.