The public is being asked to help fill a 4-day gap in the timeline of the Patel family's travels from Toronto to Emerson in January of this year.
The bodies of the four family members were discovered about 12 metres from the Canada/U.S. border on January 19th after investigators believe they succumbed to the frigid elements while attempting to cross into the U.S. on foot.
Since January, RCMP officers have travelled extensively across Canada and the United States to conduct interviews and follow-up on tips.
Investigation into the family's movements within Canada have confirmed the following:
- 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 January12, 2022.
- The Patel family was picked up at the airport by a private vehicle. They moved a few times while in Toronto, staying at both a private accommodation and hotels. The family at times used ride-share apps to travel between these various accommodations.
- Investigators believe they left the Toronto area shortly before they were discovered near the Canada-United States border on January 19, 2022.
Still unknown to investigators, is how the family travelled from Toronto to Emerson. According to RCMP, all commercial modes of transportation between these two locations, including air, rail and bus, have been verified by investigators.
In an effort to further the 9-month investigation, video surveillance of the Patel family is being released, taken January 12th at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
“We have a specific gap in the Patel’s timeline between January 15th to when they were so tragically discovered near the border on January 19th. We’re confident that people saw and helped the family during this time as they travelled more than 2000 km from Toronto to Emerson,” said Sergeant Gary Bird, an investigator with RCMP Major Crime Services. “We need these people to come forward and share what they know about the Patel family’s journey within Canada. Even the smallest bit of information could be significant. This should not have happened. Four lives, an entire family, are gone. We need the people who have information to step forward, so we can find out what happened and hold those involved to account.”
RCMP confirms the Patel family’s travel from India to Canada, and their attempt to gain entry into the United States, was very thought-out and organized, and believe it was likely being run by a human smuggling network.
Anyone who may have information is urged to call Manitoba RCMP Major Crime Services at 431-489-8551, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477. They can also submit a secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com.