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Funeral taking place for Montreal man who died near irregular border crossing

MONTREAL — A funeral is taking place today for a Haitian man whose body was found earlier this month near an unofficial border crossing south of Montreal.

Provincial police have said they believe Fritznel Richard, 44, likely died of hypothermia while trying to enter the United States.

Frantz André, a spokesman for a Montreal-based group that helps undocumented people, has said Richard was attempting to reunite with his wife and 19-month-old son in the U.S. Another 11-year-old son remains in Haiti. 

Richard’s body was found in a wooded area in St-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que., near Roxham Road, a popular crossing point for asylum seekers coming to Canada.

André said Richard originally crossed into Canada at Roxham Road, but difficulties in obtaining a work permit and a high cost of living pushed him to join the growing number of asylum seekers who return to the U.S. 

Of the 39,540 asylum seekers intercepted by the RCMP along the Canadian border in 2022, 39,171 were in Quebec. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2023.

The Canadian Press