These two families comprise six members, according to Gandhinagar Police. Sources in police said that two different Patel families from a village in Kalol taluka of Gandhinagar had left for the US via Istanbul.
The sources said that they were abducted by human traffickers in Istanbul and have been held to ransom.
“One family consists of Tejas Patel, his wife Alka, and their son Divya,” said an officer of Gandhinagar Police. “The second family’s members are Suresh Patel, his wife Shobha, and their daughter Foram. They had left their village for the US in the last week of December or the first week of January.”
The officer said that the Indian embassy in Istanbul received a complaint about the abduction from the relatives and friends of the victims.
A team of the CID (crime) has been trying to reconstruct the families’ itinerary: how they went to Istanbul and how they intended to reach the US. The officer refused to name the village because of the ongoing investigation.
Jagdish Patel, his wife, and two minor children who perished near the US border had been sent off on their travels by an agent of their taluka. Police sources said the same shadowy travel agent may be involved in sending the two families to Istanbul.
Jagdish Patel, 35; his wife, Vaishali, 33; and their children Vihanga, 12, and Dharmik, 3, were found dead near the Canada-US border. They were reportedly separated from a larger group of Indians who made it across the border to the US in -35 degrees celsius temperature. Their bodies were found just 10m from the US border on the Canadian side.