Norwegian police identify the body of a toddler who died while crossing the English Channel

“It is now certain that the boy who was found is Artin Irannezhad. He is of Iranian origin and disappeared during a shipwreck in the English Channel off France on October 27 last year,” said South West Police lead investigator Camilla Tjelle Waage. in a statement Monday.

Artin was 18 months old when he disappeared, police said. Both of her parents died in the sinking, along with her two older siblings. The family were among 19 migrants on board the UK-bound boat, which capsized in French waters.

When the tiny body washed up on the Norwegian island of Karmøy, no missing babies were reported in the area and no family contacted local police, a police spokesperson told CNN on Monday. from the southwest. The blue overalls Artin was wearing were not a Norwegian brand, suggesting he was not a native, police also said.

Artin’s family was Iranian Kurdish according to HENGAW, a human rights organization focused on Iranian Kurdistan.

Last week, forensic scientists from the University of Oslo were able to match Artin’s DNA with that of a relative in Norway, the lead investigator said in a statement.

“It’s a laborious process, but we are happy to have now received confirmation that it is indeed the missing boy who was found in Karmøy. This story is tragic, but at least it’s good to be able to give a response to loved ones.” said Tjelle Waage.

“The police have had an ongoing dialogue with the French authorities. We have always respected the ongoing processes across national borders, but when it turned out that the boy’s relative in Norway was quite close, we we chose to try to match the DNA of this person with that of the boy”, added Tjelle Waage.

French President Emmanuel Macron and the British Prime Minister discussed the issue of Channel crossings on Monday ahead of the upcoming G7 summit, according to Downing Street.

“The Prime Minister and the President have raised the issue of illegal migration across the Channel,” a spokesperson for Downing said in a statement.

“The Prime Minister noted the ongoing cooperation to tackle small boat crossings in the English Channel and stressed the need to redouble efforts to deter migrants from attempting this perilous journey following the worrying increase in incidents in recent years. weeks,” they added.