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Body found on Norway coast was missing Kurdish-Iranian toddler

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By Chantal Da Silva
A police handout shows the clothing Artin was wearing when he died after the boat his family was traveling in sank in October 2020.
A police handout shows the clothing Artin was wearing when he died after the boat his family was traveling in sank in October 2020.   -   Copyright  Police handout
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Police in Norway have identified a body found on the country's coast earlier this year as a missing 18-month old who died while trying to cross the English Channel with his family.

The young toddler, Artin, is believed to have died along with four other family members, including his parents and two siblings, when the boat they were travelling in sank in October.

Relatives of the Kurdish-Iranian family, which had been attempting to reach the UK from France, had been searching for answers on what happened to young Artin.

Now, months later, police have confirmed his death after identifying a body that was found by officers on New Year's Day on the country's southwestern shore near Karmoy.

Norway Police said they were able to identify the boy after obtaining a DNA sample and building "a complete DNA profile".

"It is now positive that the boy who was found is Artin Irannezhad," police said in a statement.

Police said the toddler's remaining family has been notified of his death.

In their statement, police noted that months have passed since Artin's body was found, asserting that "although there is a great understanding that relatives are waiting for answers, it is important to achieve a good and accurate process."

"We were aware early on that the missing boy had a relative in Norway, but it was important to determine whether the person had kinship that is close enough that it could provide a basis for DNA match," spokesperson Camilla Tjelle Waage said in a statement. "When that was ascertained, we asked relatives to give DNA to the police."

"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 Karmøy," she said. "This story is tragic, but at least it's good to be able to give the relatives an answer."