Today marks one year since four members of the Patel family were found just metres from the Canada/U.S border near Emerson, and investigators are using the moment to appeal to the public for tips in the case.
RCMP say new information that came in this past Fall about the family's travel in Canada has been confirmed, however, a gap remains between their last known location in southern Ontario on January 16th, 2022 and their arrival to Emerson on the evening of January 18th. Investigators say it is still unknown how they travelled from southern Ontario to Emerson.
A timeline of the Patel family known movements within Ontario:
- On January 12, 2022, at approximately 2:30 pm (eastern), the Patel family arrived in Canada at Toronto Pearson International Airport. They arrived in Toronto via an international flight that left Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on January 12, 2022.
- The Patel family was picked up at the airport by a private vehicle. Between January 12 and January 13, the family stayed at a hotel in the Mississauga area. The Patels travelled in the Toronto area using both private vehicles and a ride sharing service.
- Between January 14 to 16, 2022, the Patel family moved between the Mississauga area and the City of Welland, Ontario.
- It is believed the family left the Mississauga area shortly before arriving in Manitoba.
- The family arrived in Emerson sometime in the late evening of January 18th to begin their attempted crossing. It is unknown if they were in Manitoba earlier than this date.
- Their bodies were located near the Canada-United States border on the morning of January 19, 2022.
“A year ago today, a senseless and preventable tragedy occurred. This tragedy was facilitated by individuals who had no regard for the safety and wellbeing of a young family,” said Corporal Julie Courchaine of the Manitoba RCMP. “RCMP officers have been diligently working on this investigation and continue to urge anyone with information, as small or insignificant as it may be, to please come forward.”
Investigators continue to ask the public for their assistance with the movements of the Patel family within Canada. If anyone has information on the Patel family’s stay between January 14-16 in the Mississauga area and the City of Welland, Ontario, as well as their travel from Ontario to Manitoba, please call Manitoba RCMP Major Crime Services at 431-489-8551, or you can report it to Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.