Manitoba RCMP say the bodies of four people have been found near the Canada/U.S. border east of Emerson, Manitoba.
Authorities were alerted Wednesday by their U.S. counterparts with U.S. Customs and Border Protection that they had apprehended a group of people who had illegally crossed into the U.S. from Canada.
One of the people arrested had items meant for an infant, but no child was located with the group. That prompted officers to begin a search of the area, where the bodies of three people were located a short time later approximately 10 km east of Emerson.
Officers located a deceased man, woman and infant. A further search turned up the body of a male, believed to be in his mid-teens, about four hours later.
“It’s very difficult terrain,” said Assistant RCMP Commissioner Jane MacLatchy on Thursday. “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.”
All of the victims were located approximately 40 feet from the Canada/U.S. border.
“At this very early stage of the investigation, it appears that they all died due to exposure to the cold weather,” RCMP said in a release. “Work is underway to identify the victims and an autopsy has been scheduled to confirm the cause of death.”
RCMP officers continued their search on Thursday for possible survivors or additional victims.