Norwegian police end 'painstaking process,' identify toddler who died in migrant English Channel crossing

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Police have identified the body of a toddler who washed up on the Norwegian coast on New Year's Day as an 18-month-old boy who disappeared on an ill-fated journey across the English Channel.

At least 19 migrants were attempting to reach the United Kingdom in October 2020 on a boat that capsized in French waters. The boy, Artin Irannezhad, along with his family, were on the boat and he was presumed drowned.

Forensic scientists from Oslo University matched Artin's DNA with that of a relative after the body washed up on Karmoy Island.

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

Migrants packed tightly onto a small inflatable boat bail water out as they attempt to cross the English Channel near the Dover Strait, the world's busiest shipping lane, on September 07, 2020 off the coast of Dover, England.
Migrants packed tightly onto a small inflatable boat bail water out as they attempt to cross the English Channel near the Dover Strait, the world's busiest shipping lane, on September 07, 2020 off the coast of Dover, England.

A spokesperson for the Southwestern Police told CNN that the boy was wearing blue overalls, which were not of Norwegian brand, and there were also no reports of missing toddlers in the area.

"This is a painstaking process, but we are pleased that we have now received confirmation that it is the missing boy who was found on Karmoy," Waage said in the statement.

Artin's parents, Rasoul and Shiva, both 35, and his siblings, Anita, 9, and Armin, 6, also died in the boat's capsizing. Fifteen people aboard the boat were rescued, according to authorities.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Norwegian police ID body of toddler who died crossing English Channel

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